Miami Dolphins running back
“It is special and that’s why we’re here is to put a smile on their faces,” said Bush, who took this event to heart because of its connection to foster care and his personal link to it. “At the end of the day that’s the only thing that matters is spending some time with the kids, especially the young ones, the small ones, because they’re probably not even going to remember what you say. They’ll just remember that they hung out with a Dolphins football player and if we can put a smile on their face today and help their day go by a little bit easier, that’s really what it’s all about.”
Just the sight of these big football players scooping ice cream into the bowls and spraying whipped cream on top as the kids asked for more was something to behold. Incognito had to move from the end of the table where the ice cream to where the toppings were so that he wouldn’t be tempted.
T.D. the Mascot also kept the kids busy, as did two Miami Dolphins cheerleaders, and the energy remained high throughout the entire event. Each kid was given a Dolphins ball cap and a team photo that they were able to take around to get autographs, so to those running the program at His House it was clear the event was a hit.
“It’s pretty exciting for them because these kids have gone through so much,” said Jackie Raventos, activities coordinator at His House. “These are kids that have been abused, abandoned, neglected or removed from their homes because of very difficult situations, so these might be some of the only positive memories they have in their lives. We like to make sure that when they leave here they leave with wonderful memories that they’ll take with them forever.”
The His House Children’s Home also has a full-fledged school on site called the His House Academy. Children range in age from newborns to 18 and 140 of them actually live at His House. Half of them attend the school and the other half of the students come from the surrounding community. There is a mix of foster children, abandoned children, unaccompanied children that crossed the border from Central and South America, victims of human trafficking and some Haitians displaced by the earthquake of 2010.
Fields has been a part of other Dolphins events at His House in the past so he was more than happy to return and lend a helping hand.
“Just the fact that a lot of them have rough childhoods, they’ve seen a lot and been through a lot that a lot of people don’t experience in their lives, this means a lot,” he said. “They don’t have that much to look up to or get them motivated, so for us to spend a little bit of time, seeing their faces as we gave them ice cream and then looking at them afterwards with chocolate all over their faces, that brings a smile to your face.”
All of the players realized that going forward when these same kids attend a Dolphins game they will look at Bush, Carpenter, Incognito and Fields differently, which is yet another good thing.