Members of the Seattle University women's basketball team surpassed their service requirements this year when they chose to volunteer at the Seattle Children's Hospital April 24.
"It's important to get out there and do good things within the community," said Cassidy Murillo, junior guard and team captain.
Assistant coaches Todd Kent and Margot Richards coordinated with the Seattle Children's Hospital to give three of their athletes the opportunity to serve the greater Seattle community.
"It was great to be able to give back to some kids going through a tough time," Kent said.
Due to restrictions set in place by the hospital, only three athletes were able to volunteer. The hospital allows four or five volunteers at a time, five being the largest number allowed with an experienced group. This way, the number of volunteers isn't overwhelming to the patients or their families.
Mercedes Alexander and Monica Nevi joined Murillo and Kent for the service opportunity at Children's Hospital. They spent the day making paper bag puppets and friendship bracelets with the siblings of some of the patients at the hospital.
Murillo described the visit as important and exciting. She said the children enjoyed interacting with the players and talking about basketball.
In addition to giving the student-athletes an opportunity to live out the mission of Seattle U through service, Kent said their work at the hospital serves as a reminder to be thankful for what they have.
"It reminds them how blessed they are to be college athletes and realize how lucky they are to be healthy," Kent said.
Kent said the most memorable part of his trip was spending time with the patient's family.
"I had the chance to play pool with a young man whose little brother was there undergoing surgery," Kent said. "It turned into a great conversation. Later his dad came and talked about how the family was handling it. It was a powerful experience to see a family going through a tough time."
Kent hopes to maintain the relationship with the Seattle Children's Hospital. Ideally, Kent would like to send volunteers every couple of months or as often as once a month based on the needs of the hospital.
Murillo said she wants her teammates to have the opportunity to volunteer at the hospital soon.