While we’ve always considered Garth Brooks to be a country music legend, when we discovered the incredible ways that his foundation is helping to promote health and joy in the lives of young people, our hearts overflowed with admiration. Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation works to partner kids with athletes and promote healing and physical well-being.
We found that kids that utilized the playrooms were requiring less pain medications than those who weren’t.
One specific focus of Garth Brooks’ foundation is in funding the construction of eleven sports-themed playrooms called “Child Life Zones.” The zones are brought to world-class children’s hospitals across the USA; offering a place of joy for kids working to heal in hospitals. The Child Life Zones also happen to be a great stopping ground for athletes, musicians and celebrities to encourage the hospitalized kids and form lasting memories.
We wanted to spotlight some inspiring moments in Child Life Zones across the country.
Garth Brooks + Houston’s Texas Children’s Hospital
Texas Children’s Hospital is America’s largest children’s hospital and also home to a world-class Child Life Zone. It originally opened in 2001, but in 2015 it was renovated. The playroom includes a radio recording studio called “Radio Lollipop,” which features radio programming that kids can create and broadcast across the hospital campus. Check out this video of Garth Brooks playing and hanging with the kids at the zone’s re-opening ceremony.
‘The Bachelor’s’ Colton Underwood Lends a Paw at Children’s Hospital Colorado
Colton Underwood may be best known for his starring role on The Bachelor’s 23rd season in 2018. However, before he was a bon-a-fide reality TV star, he first gained popularity as a free-agent professional football player for the San Diego Chargers. It makes sense that as a former professional athlete that he would feel at home in Children’s Hospital Colorado’s sports-themed Child Life Zone. We loved seeing him recently stop by for a pet therapy session.
Troy Aikman Regularly Makes Time in Dallas for Kids at Children’s Health
Troy Aikman is a legendary quarterback, leading the Dallas Cowboys to three Superbowl victories in the 1990s, earning the title of “MVP” in Super Bowl XXVII along the way. He has a passion for the Dallas Fort Worth area and opened his first “Aikman End Zone” in 1996 at Dallas’ Children’s Health. Aikman is thrilled by the therapeutic benefits that the zones offer. “We found that kids that utilized the playrooms were requiring less pain medications than those who weren’t. And they were recovering much faster in some of their rehab.”
Aikmans’ sports-playroom served as the blueprint for Garth Brooks’ Child Life Zones and this playroom was eventually rebranded to a Teammates for Kids playroom. However, Aikman is deeply committed to returning often to the space and proved to be a powerfully helpful ally for Brooks as he expanded the sports-playrooms model nationwide.
Trisha Yearwood Connects with Kids in Riley Children’s Health in Indianapolis
Trisha Yearwood is married to Garth Brooks and a legendary country singer in her own right. She’s also passionate about Teammates For Kids Child Life Zones and traveled to Indianapolis with Garth to commission a brand new outdoor play space adjacent to the zone. Together, they surprised patients and threw a “Backyard Bash” to promote the healing power of play.
‘The Bachelor’s’ Arie Luyendyk Jr Shares The Giving Keys at Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Arie Luyendyk Jr is another well-known star of The Bachelor, but, like Colton Underwood, he also got his start as an athlete before his reality TV career took off. A beloved racecar driver and native of the Phoenix area, Luyendyk committed to sell custom Giving Keys at his races to fundraise for Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Inside the Child Life Zone, he was able to hang with the patients, sign autographs, hand out Giving Keys necklaces and present a donation check to the hospital.
NHL’s Dallas Stars connect with Fort Worth’s Kids at Cook Children’s
Children in Fort Worth are huge fans of their local Dallas pro-sports teams and able to enjoy all things sports at Cook Children’s Child Life Zone. This playroom was the second one opened by Troy Aikman and eventually merged with Garth Brooks’ efforts. For kids who love professional hockey, they were overjoyed when they got to hang with the Dallas Stars’ athletes and mascot.
The Harlem Globetrotters Teach Tricks at Children’s Minnesota
Children’s Minnesota serves the medical needs of kids from across the state. This Child Life Zone features the Star Studio Performance Stage, allowing kids to be filmed and broadcast across the hospital in interactive shows. When the Harlem Globetrotters showed up to teach the kids some of their trademark tricks, joy abounded across the hospital’s grounds.