A feast of generosity

MARYSVILLE – For Sheila Logan, the phrase “it’s better to give than receive” is not only Biblical scripture, it’s the principle by which she tries to live her life.

She’s the kind of person people don’t hesitate to call about a middle-of-the-night hospital emergency.

She volunteers at her church as well as the Interfaith Association of Snohomish County’s shelter for homeless families in Everett. At Christmas, she makes a point of dropping off toys for hospitalized children.

Yet for eight weeks while recovering from back-to-back bladder and bunion surgeries earlier this year, she had to depend on wheelchairs and crutches to get around.

Friends and neighbors organized a volunteer brigade to cook meals, help around her home and take her to check-ups if her husband, Ron Logan, who works at the Department of Corrections, had to work.

So how did it feel for a person so used to giving to be on the receiving end?

“You know at first, it was kind of awkward,” Logan said.

A friend tried to reassure her. “As much as you do for other people, it’s your turn,” she said.

Logan tried not to fret about the help she was getting, but she never forgot it, either.

Emily Post might advise that a nice, handwritten note was enough, but Logan wanted to do more.

She organized a “caregivers awards picnic” Saturday at Jennings Park for friends, fellow members of Everett’s Second Baptist Church who volunteered their help and even for some of the medical professionals who she said gave her VIP care.

This time, it was Logan’s turn to do the giving.

“I had so much fun just putting it together,” Logan said. “These people were so very helpful. It really helped in my speedy recovery.”

Glenda Hollimon of Everett volunteered to wash dishes and clean the bathroom for Logan while she was recovering.

“Well, that’s what she would have done,” Hollimon said of the unglamorous tasks she took on.

“The whole message is giving,” she said. “Nobody hesitated when you asked something for Sheila.”

Christy Bridges, a physician’s assistant at The Everett Clinic, said she was touched and surprised by Logan’s picnic invitation.

“It means a lot to be invited into someone’s life like that,” Bridges said. “It was a real thoughtful thing to do.”

Ryan Haskell of North Sound Physical Therapy calls Logan one of a kind.

“She’s always positive,” he said. Despite the pain she sometimes encountered in physical therapy, “she keeps smiling.”

The idea of the picnic “is just rich in generosity and spirit,” he said.

Logan, 50, said she’s healed so well that she has no problems walking.

“God is good to me,” she said.

Now that she’s feeling better, what’s at the top of her to-do list? Logan doesn’t hesitate: “I need to give back.”

“Sheila has a really good heart and a strong spirit,” said Charlie Bishop, the pharmacist who helps fill her prescriptions at Quil Ceda Pharmacy.

“She’s gone through physical challenges that would daunt others, but … she is taking them in stride.

“It’s always a joy to see her.”

Reporter Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@ heraldnet.com.

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