Inheritance of Hope has been blessed by many incredibly passionate and dedicated volunteers. In fact, Inheritance of Hope’s mission of inspiring hope in young families facing the loss of a parent cannot be realized without them! Our “Volunteer Spotlight” series is a way to celebrate these most selfless members of our Inheritance of Hope family. The Padgett sisters, Gabriella and Meredith, are great examples, serving at 5 Legacy Retreats® each.
How did you become involved with Inheritance of Hope (IoH)?
Deric Milligan is our uncle so we have always known about Inheritance of Hope and have watched it grow. Before the May 2012 Legacy Retreat®
they were in need of volunteers, and Luke Milligan suggested to Kristen that we volunteer. We always knew about the retreats but never knew if we could volunteer, so when she asked we were more than happy to!
We watched our cousins and other family members volunteer and saw the impact it had on them, as both volunteers and family members affected by cancer. The excitement around each retreat was always infectious, and it seemed natural for us to get involved.
Witnessing all the relationships formed and the work that God does through retreats is unlike any other experience. Relationships formed on a Legacy Retreat® last far beyond the four days spent together. The community of volunteers is like a family and we always anticipate reuniting with our IoH family at every retreat. It is such a unique experience that draws everyone back!
How has your involvement with IoH impacted you as family members?
During Legacy Retreats® we have grown closer to our actual family through serving alongside each other. Serving other families coping with the reality of a sick loved one has been helpful in our own process of grieving and has brought us all closer together.
Any favorite moments you would like to share?
Meredith: Not every family knows a whole lot about the Legacy Retreat® when they arrive, so hearing them talk about their new IoH family that they never expected coming into the retreat is really cool. Also being able to stay in touch with the families and seeing the impact of IoH on them months down the road from a retreat is a testament to the community IoH forms.
Gabriella: A few families I have served have reached out to me after the retreat and we stay in contact. The kids old enough to have social media will keep in touch that way, and sometimes come to me with some difficult situations they face. I am so happy to be a resource and a friend to families even beyond the retreat.