College football is days away and most of us know parking on game day can be tough. But there's a place you can park with a cause.
The sights and sounds of fall in East Tennessee include screaming fans... over both football and parking. Now, there's an easy way to get excited over not just for the big game, but also parking for it.
"I'm so pumped for football," Cheryl Allmon, Director of Volunteer Service Programs of East Tennessee Children's Hospital said. "I'm so pumped for football parking."
And the countdown is on for the first home game at Neyland Stadium.
"We have an amazing group of volunteers who get so excited to come down here on game days," she said. "You'll see them out there holding a blue sign that says park with Children's Hospital."
Fourteen-year-old Bryan has been battling sickle cell anemia his entire life. He's stayed at Children's Hospital many times over the course of his life, and, his mom said, the staff there has become like family.
"My youngest son Brian, he was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia in his newborn screening and that's how Children's Hospital became my family." Trista Cody said.
"This is our vacation home," she added with a chuckle.
Bryan's red blood cells don't live as long as those without sickle cell anemia, which affects every aspect of his, and his family's, life.
"My vacation home is I mean, it's not Hawaii... it's pretty good, it's pretty good," Trista said. "I don't have to worry about eating or keeping Brian occupied. I don't have to worry about any of that here because he is their priority."
So how does game day parking help people like Brian and Trista? On game day, you can park in one of three Children's Hospital parking lots-- the money raised goes into helping patients at the hospital.
"There are things like our clothing closet," Allmon said. "So you come in through the emergency department, and your child is suddenly admitted, you don't want to have to go home to pack a bag."
The hospital also has shampoo, toothbrushes, soap, and if a family needs food, they have that for them too.
"We have our food pantry. It's not necessarily that there's a financial need, you just don't want to leave your child to go and get food," Allmon said.
"The patients are the priority here at Children's Hospital," Trista said. "I'm so thankful and blessed that I can call this my vacation home."
So, the next time you are looking for a parking spot, try looking for the folks holding those blue Children's Hospital parking signs.