After spending the morning at the NFL annual meeting in Boca Raton, Fla., New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton delivered gift baskets to children at the Gayle and Tom Benson Cancer Center and the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on Wednesday afternoon.
It's the fourth year Payton's Play it Forward Foundation has teamed up with Basket of Hope to deliver gifts to patients at Ochsner Medical Center.
"Every time we have done this, it gets better and better," Payton said. "You have a chance to meet new families and patients. It's always fitting to do it right before Easter. It was a great day."
The hospital visit capped an eventful day for Payton as he spent the morning in Florida for the NFL meetings and a media session, where he announced that he had agreed to terms on a five-year contract extension with the Saints.
The patients and their families were thrilled by Payton's presence and asked him a variety of questions on the Saints, the NFL Draft, his contract extension and his experiences at Ochsner.
The baskets Payton delivered were filled with age-appropriate and gender-specific toys, games, books, crafts, movies, gift certificates and more.
Through the generosity of its donors, Basket of Hope provides gifts to children diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. The baskets are delivered by volunteers who spend time meeting with the family.
"Our foundation appreciates Basket of Hope's support with the event," Payton said. "The detail in which they go through for each child, whether the child is a boy or a girl, younger or older. There is always that little touch and I think it means a lot to the families."
The goal of Payton's foundation is to raise funds and awareness for organizations fighting at the forefront for families and children in need.
It's the fourth year Payton's Play it Forward Foundation has teamed up "Basket of Hope" to deliver gifts to patients at Ochsner Medical Center. Photos by Alex Restrepo (New Orleans Saints photos)