On Wednesday, Dion Lewis was back in Patriots colors, but rather than his No. 33 jersey, he sported a Celebrate Volunteerism T-shirt for the team's Charitable Foundation. The running back, who became a fan favorite this past season before suffering a knee injury on November 8, joined Geneo and Haley Grissom for an afternoon at Boston Children's Hospital.
The three made bedside visits in several different wards, bringing along Valentine's Day-themed crafts, balloons, books and more. Then they headed to the patient entertainment center's Seacrest Studios for an interview and game that were broadcast throughout the hospital for all to enjoy.
The visit marked Dion's first outing for Celebrate Volunteerism.
"It was great to be here," he commented before leaving the hospital. "I had a great time with the kids and it was a lot of fun. I was happy to see their spirits raised a little bit and how strong they are."
But Dion wasn't the only one raising spirits; many of the patients and families offered him encouragement for his own recovery and the 2016 football season.
"It means a lot," he said. "It gives me a lot of motivation to have so many people care about me. Over the past couple months I got a lot of get well cards from little kids and stuff like that. Seeing the support I'm getting definitely makes me work harder every day."
The positive effect of the visit was also felt by Geneo and Haley, who have often volunteered together, both while part of the Patriots organization and in their college years.
"You go through every day and little things will get you down, but they're going through these huge trials and they're just so uplifting all the time," Haley said of the patients. "It makes your problems seem tiny. Getting to see them be happy and do crafts with them and play with them, I think that's the best part about it."
Such hospital visits are particularly meaningful for the Grissoms because Geneo's father battled and beat cancer in recent years, Haley explained.
"Getting to come here is huge for [Geneo]. He knows what the patients are going through and he feels like he can relate to them and make sure they can have a better day than before he got there."
Geneo added, "If I can go in there and make one little kid's day better, why not? It's another reason to get out of the house. I just love it."
On Feb. 10, Geneo Grissom and Dion Lewis got in the holiday spirit by delivering Valentine's Day gifts to children and their families at Boston Children's Hospital.