On February 27, 2015, two members of the Dallas Cowboys teamed up with UnitedHealthcare volunteers to throw a Project Sunshine party for the patients and families of Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC). The party featured a “HeARTS” theme in honor of American Heart Month. Project Sunshine, the non-profit organization behind the event, sponsored games, face painting, crafts, prizes and a photo booth for pictures with the two Cowboys’ stars during the bash. Read on to learn more about the event and its mission to help young patients.
UnitedHealthcare and the Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys and UnitedHealthcare, now the Cowboys’ official community partner, first joined forces in 2011 to raise awareness about chronic disease prevention and healthy living. The partnership focuses especially on childhood obesity and diabetes. In 2014, UnitedHealthcare worked with the Cowboys’ Rookie Club — an outreach program that introduces the team’s newest players to the joy of giving back to the community — to throw a similar party at Texas Scottish Rite. This year, safeties Barry Church, signed by the Cowboys in 2010, and J.J. Wilcox, drafted by the Cowboys in 2013, visited the hospital for the HeARTS party.
The Party’s Sponsor: Project Sunshine
Project Sunshine is a nonprofit organization that offers free educational, social and recreational programs to children dealing with medical problems. UnitedHealthcare began its relationship with Project Sunshine in 2010. Since then, more than 13,200 UnitedHealthcare volunteers have brightened the lives of more than 23,000 young patients and their families. These volunteers have made more than 63,000 arts and crafts kits and 18,300 Sunny Grams — special greeting cards that offer cheer in hospitals — for children across the nation. The goal of Project Sunshine is to relieve the anxiety associated with medical treatment for kids.
Brightening the Day of More Than 100 Patients
More than 100 of TSRHC’s young patients attended the party with their families. The two Cowboys’ players who attended the party signed autographs and posed for pictures with patients and volunteers. The party’s photo booth offered an array of costumes and props for lighthearted photo ops with the athletes. Judging by the smiles on the faces of the patients that day, the party more than achieved its goal of alleviating some of the stress of treatment.