A Personal Note from Ragan

“There are unrecognized heroes among our ordinary neighbors”
~ Harold W. Bernard

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had some serious heart tugs. So many heart stopping moments of being in pure awe of those living amongst us.  Several of you have been a part of my life for years; others, I may just know you when our paths have crossed. Yet, that doesn’t determine the seed of life planted. Today, I was reflecting on how so many unrecognized souls have impacted my life.  My first “real” memory of someone that was not family, showing me the heart of a volunteer, has taken me back to an age between 4 – 8 years old.

Which, brings me to my first memory of a selfless love of a volunteer.  I am not sure why I was in the hospital; I just remember after what felt like the night from HELL…, if a kid can even really fathom that, IT FELT REAL! Let me set the scene… I must have been just out of surgery my body weak and in pain, but medication was not giving much comfort, but instead, it was causing my heart rate to drop. Catch 22 I guess…. So, as I would drift in and out of “sleep”, I would quickly be shaken by my tired and lifeless mom saying, “Ragan, take deep breaths.” After both breaking down and no sleep, I remember sunlight peeking in and a sweet soft voice saying, “is there a princess in this castle ready to shop the toy cart?”

You see, this toy cart shopping is a daily perk of being a frequent flyer or a first-time guest. Even as a platinum level member, this morning was different as if I was at Disney.  It was magical.  I caught a glimpse of my mom; she had the same magical “YESSSS QUEEN” twinkle in her eyes. Being a true diva, I took my time investigating all that the volunteer had on her cart and there it was…Bottled up in the most magical bottle – blue sparkle nail polish!”

I can’t tell you the fairy godmothers name who brought the cart to each room, or the date, or why in that moment it caused a lasting twinkle in my soul.

Everyone has unexplainable life moving moments that never would have formed if not for the heart of a volunteer.

Last night I was reminded how when there is a need –  there are unrecognized heroes among our ordinary neighbors to meet those needs.

In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week, thank you to all of those known and unknown that are changing a life within Ragan’s HOPE.  It’s every handwritten card, basket of snacks, and toiletries in the odd hours of the night; every unexpected lawn taken care of; a stranger bringing clean clothes when a family can’t leave their child’s side, every untold prayer, Amazon purchases, volunteer hours that come planned and unplanned…and every hand delivered blue sparkle bottle of nail polish for a princess wearing a hospital gown dreaming of a ball wearing a ball gown.

You may never hear the “Thank You” from a family first hand, but you are inspiring; you are a bright light and a HUGE HEART, showing love in ways ONLY YOU CAN!

Hugs,

Ragan Smith

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