By Jerry Cowling
Special to Hernando Sun
The Bible says there are angels around us unaware. One of them, Hazel Wells of Dade City, recently received a special Congressional Certificate of Recognition for her 25 years of experience in outstanding and invaluable service to the community from the office of U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis.
Hazel has her own angel unaware because she doesn’t know who nominated her for the honor.
“It means so much to me,” she said. One of her goals is to help children get an education. “Like the Rev. Martin Luther King said, I have a dream to help others succeed so they can have a dream to help others.”
Hazel is a graduate of Mickens High school in Dade City. In 2004 she created the non-profit charity Dade City Widow’s Mite. It’s motto is “Giving our all to enrich the lives of others.” It’s goal is to bring “people together, to educate, inspire, motivate, counsel, shelter feed the body and soul.”
Hazel’s organization asks for financial donations to go toward monetary gifts or temporary loans to those who undergo devastating emergency events and cannot afford basic needs.
Another one of her goals is to make available quality, low-cost housing to people in need. Some homes may need repairs to become livable.
“We will provide repair and renovation assistance to make homes safe for living,” Hazel explained.
The group also needs volunteers to educate and re-educate those wanting self-improvement.
“We want to make it available to any who seeks it,” she said.
Anyone interested in helping Dade City Widow’s Mite may write to P.O. Box 573, Lacoochee, FL 33537.
Among her recent activities was a Children’s Fun Day at Christian Edge in Lacoochee for children to painting pictures representing “the days of old” on a longstanding wall on the property. The event provided free food and drinks, balloons, flags and flowers to participants. Its purpose is to bring the community together, Hazel explained. In addition to Dade City Widow’s Mite, she enlisted the help of other local charities.
Another project was writing a proclamation which was approved by the Dade City council creating a day of day of recognition for Captain Charles “Bo” Harrison who was a 33-year veteran of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Department who died in the line of duty. Hazel cited in the proclamation that Harrison was “a mentor, wise counselor, friend to many and stranger to no one, community activist and educator.”
Hazel likes to look out for bargains at thrift stores and yard sales to keep supplies on hand for any need that arises. For example, she gathers clothing for little girls to wear to church. She also teaches them how to dress, giving out prizes to the girls.
“It doesn’t cost me much,” she said, “Just to show someone loves them. It’s a connection with girls who had lost their mothers who need a mother’s love.”
She also collects decorated mugs and keeps them in her car in case she happens to see a person who looks like they are down in the dumps and needs a little pick-me-up and to let them know that there are people in the world who care. Hazel also provides blankets and other necessities to homeless people living in abandoned buildings. Often she gives out soup to the homeless.
On her list for future projects is to organize a teacher appreciation banquet.
“When these ideas come to me like a dream, I get all excited about it.”
Hazel knows true happiness comes from looking outside of oneself to put a smile on the faces of others.
It seems she is one of the angels and is not even aware of it.
Wouldn’t be wonderful if we all decided to do one small thing for a stranger, not bothering to judge them whether they deserved it or not or what we would get out of it.
That way we could all be angels unaware.
Cowling is a freelance writer, storyteller and blogger who lives in Brooksville.