This Thanksgiving week was marred by a tragedy in Chattanooga earlier in the week when a bus carrying children from Woodmore Elementary crashed and killed six children, while injuring many more.
A group of Tennessee players that included Alvin Kamara, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Derek Barnett joined Butch Jones and headed down to Chattanooga to visit some of those victims on Wednesday, doing their part to try to lift the spirits of the families affected.
“First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to the families, everyone at the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger and the employees, the doctors and the nurses,” Butch Jones said on Wednesday. “You sit here and you hear about it and you feel kind of helpless and wonder what can you do to help or is there anything you can do about it? It was something that I just thought of and I ran it by some players and they said, ‘Coach, I’d love to go.’
“We talk about resolve and resiliency, it’s talking with these parents, how brave they are. Seeing it first-hand makes you feel helpless as an individual. But again, it’s something that I’ll always cherish. I’ll always remember. It’s the least that we could do. I’m going to look forward to having all those kids–I want to do something special for them at the halftime of our spring football game. You walk into a room and there’s a little girl who can’t talk but she sees you and her eyes light up and she’s in a cast and she’s giving you a thumbs up. That’s something that I’ll remember and I know our players will remember for a lifetime.”
— Paul Shahen (@paulshahen) November 23, 2016
Jones has also indicated that the Vols will do something at halftime of the Orange and White Game this spring to honor the victims.