RCC Osprey soccer is "always bigger than the game"
The feeling of making an impact on someone else's life is something that always leaves an impression. The same reason people become coaches, teachers, nurses, doctors, and so many other fields could be felt in the effect of our visit to Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland.
Although the task of buying gifts for these children may have started out as a jovial and humorous team trip to Wal-Mart, walking into the hospital, seeing the smiles and happiness of the nurses and volunteers just knowing how kids would react to the gifts was enough to send shivers down my spine.
As Coach John and I stayed back and talked to the volunteers while the team made their way back to the bus, the stories we heard of children loving life, smiling even though they may be bed ridden or on a long road to recovery, or their lives limited and changed by whatever may have brought them there. It would take a cruel and callous man not to be touched by the anecdotes,
I was very touched emotionally and I could feel by the mood on the bus as we took the road down off the hill where Doernbecher was located that many of the players were feeling the same. I have never visited anything like this place, in the name of community service or otherwise, and I gladly donated to give the kids a chance to live their childhood in what little way I could with Legos, or as others did with toys, card games, Jenga, Connect 4, blankets, art supplies, and so much more.
If we played no games this trip, if the bus broke down and we had to hitchhike home, if we got stranded for days in the middle of nowhere, I would still in an instant say that this trip was worth it. It is said that life passes us by in seconds, in moments, but these were moments that didn't pass us by, moments that the team stepped up and seized for all they were worth, moments that will always live in my memory. The day that we bought gifts for what seemed a small price to us, but will make a world of difference to the children we delivered them too.
Moments like these are what really make a team, it's not what happens between the white lines, but what happens far outside them that decide what kind of person, what kind of team we become. Today everyone showed greatness, everyone showed kindness and compassion, and everyone came together in a way that cannot be matched by any other event. Coach John often can be heard saying to the coaches and student athletes "remember it's always bigger than the game" at this moment I finally and clearly understood his ramblings. It is about making a positive impact on all of those we come in contact with and doing it because it is the right thing to do. Thank you to Doernbecher Children's Hospital for letting us come in and make a difference, you left us forever changed.
Written by Lincoln Andres-Beck, assistant coach