NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) Rough Riders Motorcycle Group rode from Newport News to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk to deliver more than 80 teddy bears to children Sept. 14.
The teddy bears were donated to "TR" by the Theodore Roosevelt Association, a group who gives teddy bears to children's hospitals around the country.
"I loved it," said Chief Logistics Specialist (SW/AW) Mike Noray, a member of the Rough Riders and one of nearly 40 Sailors who participated. "Words can't express how good it felt to do something to help those children feel better."
Sailors visited with the patients and toured the facility, handing out free teddy bears along the way.
Greg Raver, public relations director at the Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters, said many of the patients have serious conditions, ranging from autism to cancer, and don't often have contact with people from outside the hospital.
"The kids here are the sickest of the sick," said Raver. "It's always wonderful when people donate their time to spending time with the patients, and it's especially impressive to see military members doing it, since they are busy as it is."
Lt. Cmdr. Rodney Norton, the leader of the Rough Riders group, saw the donation as an opportunity to get his group involved in something good for the community, as well as building camaraderie within the group.
"Everyone really enjoyed the hospital visit," said Norton. "It was definitely good for the kids to see that people really care about them, and I hope it did something to raise their spirits.
"While this was mostly for the children, it was a good experience for us too," said Norton. "The whole event was in the spirit of friendship and love, and you can't go wrong with that."
Lakisha Paul-Chandler, whose son received one of the teddy bears, said she thought the Sailors donated their time to a good cause.
"It was a really nice gesture, and I know my son enjoyed getting his bear," said Paul-Chandler. "I'd like to say thank you and God bless you to all the Sailors who came out to the hospital today."
For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.