The joyful sound of caroling could be heard echoing through the halls of Seattle Children’s and Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) this week thanks to two very special visitors, Ciara alongside her and Russell’s new music artist DeAndre. They handed out toys and gift cards to patients and families at the hospital and delighted families with classic holiday songs.
“I’m so grateful we got to come and sing for you all today,” Ciara said. “We believe in you and we’re rooting for you,” she added.
In the inpatient playroom at the hospital, patients and families were overjoyed. They sang along, with some children singing at the top of their lungs with huge smiles on their faces, and others dancing happily to the cheerful tunes.
“It was such a special gift,” Brooke Ghee said. She smiled at her 6-month-old son, Tristan Jackson, as his father held him and rocked him to the music. Their current stay at the hospital has been about 3 months. They said they’ve spent more time in the hospital than at home.
“This really made our day,” Ghee said.
Tristan was all smiles as Ciara and DeAndre sang. It was a welcome reprieve. For a while, they forgot they were in the hospital.
Bringing holiday cheer to kids
Walking through the corridors of the inpatient units, Ciara and DeAndre stopped to sing songs to patients and families.
When 10-year-old Sierra Todd saw Ciara, her face lit up with joy.
“Sierra loves music,” her mother, Thera Todd, said.
Sierra and her mother moved to Seattle from North Pole, Alaska more than 3 years ago. Now, they call Seattle Children’s their second home.
“It was heartwarming to see Ciara and hear her beautiful music,” Todd said. “It really brightened Sierra’s day.”
Todd said they are big fans of Ciara and Russell. Sierra has been in the hospital for about 7 months. Her mother said they’ll be inpatient for Christmas.
Sierra wasn’t the only patient enamored with the sweet melodies. From his crib, a 14-month-old baby locked eyes with Ciara as she passed by his hospital room. She stopped to sing him a song, and he couldn’t take his wide eyes off her.
“I think he likes it,” Ciara said with a smile on her face.
Spreading joy at OBCC
After caroling at the hospital, Ciara and DeAndre traveled across town to OBCC, a community clinic of Seattle Children’s located in the Central District. OBCC provides medical, dental, mental health and nutrition services to all families, regardless of their ability to pay.
Ciara handed out Amazon Fire HD 8s, gift cards and toys to patients and families at the clinic. They then sang carols for all the children and their families. One little girl sat on Ciara’s lap, a big smile on her face as she swayed to the music.
One-year-old Amir Spinks was beaming as Ciara held him in her arms.
“She stole his heart,” his mother, Ronnisha Spinks, said.
When Spinks was a little girl, she had been a patient at OBCC. She said the neighborhood clinic is like family. She loves that her son is now a patient and will grow up around the same providers who cared for her as a baby.
“When you come here, you know everyone,” Spinks said. “It’s wonderful to have Ciara interact with the kids and share her love with the community. It’s great to have her here and a part of our family.”
Amir loved the songs, clapping his hands energetically.
“He had so much fun,” Spinks said.
It was a special visit that meant the world to the families at OBCC.
“Hope happened here today,” Dr. Benjamin Danielson, senior medical director of OBCC said. “She was able to connect with the kids in a way that they were able to see themselves in her and believe they can be anything they want to be.”