SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Last Wednesday, members of the Elms College women's soccer team found themselves talking about soccer with their new friend Autumn, whom they met during a community service trip to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.
"As a team, we decided to reach out to Baystate and see what we could do to help," said Elms College Head Coach Sean Milbier. "We wanted to volunteer and help out in any way we could. They asked us to put together gift baskets for the kids."
Milbier sent his players on a mission to gather toys and prizes to fill gift baskets, which would be presented to young patients being treated at Baystate. The Blazers assembled ten gift baskets, filled with toys, stuffed animals, and treats. They also contained ten gift cards, and the team made the trip to the hospital to present the baskets in person.
"We were able to actually meet with two patients during our trip," continued Milbier. "We met Autumn and a young man named Nolan, and it was a great experience for all of us. The hospital follows us on social media now, and sent us pictures of the kids opening their baskets in their beds with big smiles on their faces. This is something that we really wanted to do to help out, and it's finally nice to see it all come together."
And the team plans to keep it going.
"It was a really a good day, and we are going to continue to help out," stated Milbier. "This wasn't a one-time thing. We'll keep going down [to Baystate] to meet with the kids, and what we'd like to do, is bring some of them out to Elms and spend some with us."
The Blazers will return to action with a non-conference road trip to Westfield State University Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m.