60° Fresno, CA
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

  • 12/5 - Girls Soccer Home vs Woodlake @ 6:30 p.m.
  • 11/30 - Drama Performance Opening Night - Redemption Bible Church @ 7 p.m.
  • 11/30 - Boys Soccer Home vs. Firebaugh @ 4 p.m.
  • Download the new Feather app - search Student News Source in App store
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor

Athletes serve Valley children

Imagine a life lived within the confines of a hospital ? a separate world completely cut off from the outdoors.

At the urging of first-year head coach Bonner Cunnings, the varsity and JV football teams along with cross-country paid a visit to patients at Children’s Hospital of Central California after school, Sept. 4.

With three teams attempting to squeeze into 40 seats, the bus ride was cramped. However the temporary discomfort to the coaches and athletes lasted only 15 minutes, as they arrived at the hospital in Madera.

“My goal in doing this is that through ministering to these kids, the guys on the team will be blessed and we will bless (the patients),” Cunnings said. “There won’t be practice on this day, because I want the players to concentrate on serving and uplifting others.”

Even with the opening game of their season at Stone Ridge Christian (Merced) a week away, the football teams sacrificed an entire day of practice to visit children at the hospital.

Each athlete brought gifts for a child, ranging from army men and remote control cars to teddy bears and blankets. Though unable to enter the rooms of several patients in isolation, the players conversed with the kids from the doorways, offering their gifts.

After an hour of entertaining a youngster with dinosaurs in the playroom, offensive/defensive lineman Justin Wilson, ’11, reflected on the day.

“This is going to be one of the most memorable experiences of our season,” Wilson said. “It just shows what a difference talking to a kid can make in their life. Sometimes they don’t have any one to talk to or interact with.”

The teams concluded their visit at the hospital with a group meeting outside, in which they discussed the day’s adventure. Cunnings directed the meeting and reiterated exactly what he has taught his students since his arrival at FC as football/strength and conditioning coach.

“There is no more powerful force on this earth than love,” Cunnings told the group. “This power of love that we have here is going to change the earth. The world will be a much better place when people start showing love.”

In agreement with his coach, center Tyler Revis, ’10, called the hospital experience “eye-opening.”

“I felt truly blessed, and thankful for this experience,” Revis said. “We are able to play football every friday, but those kids have to sit in bed week after week. (The visit) opened my eyes, and puts life in better perspective.”

Though most of the patients lay sick in their beds, they perked up with a smile at the sight of a varsity football team standing in their doorway.

The next time these athletes step onto their respective playing fields, it will be with a “greater appreciation” for the God-given blessing of healthy bodies, according to Wilson.

“Everyday for them is a struggle,” Wilson said. “We get to go to school, but they have to sit in a hospital all day. I now have a greater appreciation for my everyday life.”

View Comments (3)
More to Discover
Donate to The Feather

Comments (3)

All The Feather Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • E

    Ericlee GilmoreFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Way to go Doug. You are only 12 seconds off your best time from last year on the Woodward Park course. I will be cheering you on at State. Make sure you tell your coach thank you! She had done well to get you to State again.

  • R

    Robert FosheeFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Doug, you’re awesome! God has given a gift of running. Good luck at state!

  • K

    Kayla HaydockFeb 5, 2010 at 6:48 am

    Great job, Doug! it’s such an amazing accomplishment. I’ve see you working hard to achieve this goal. Can’t wait to cheer you on at state!