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Dallas woman gives back to unsung heroes working behind the scenes at hospitals

The environmental services staff at Children's Health is the first line of defense.

There are many heroes at Children’s Medical Center in Plano and Dallas but Ashley Arnold isn't one of them.

“No,” Arnold said as she laughed. “We can debate that. I’m just glad we’re happy and healthy.”

Arnold is on the Children’s Medical Center Foundation board and over the years, she’s met a lot of important people here at the hospital.

Whether it’s doctors or nurses, Arnold says they’re the real heroes, especially right now.

However, during this pandemic, she says don’t forget the unsung heroes: the cleaning crew.

“They’re keeping the rooms clean, the hallways clean, the floors clean, the bathrooms clean,” Arnold said. “And we don’t see them, we don’t talk to them and that’s why they’re forgotten.”

“We’re behind the scenes heroes,” said senior director of environmental services Randall Manno. “We don’t get recognized a lot for the work that we do. It’s kind of behind the scenes.”

But they say, they don’t do their job for recognition.

“Our mission is to make life better for children and that’s why we’re here,” said lead housekeeper Sebrena Coleman.

Still, Arnold wondered if there was something she could do to make them feel appreciated.

She says she felt helpless because she was stuck at home mopping, cleaning, and cooking. That’s when it hit her.

“Out of the mopping and cooking and mopping, I thought, ‘We’ve got to get these people food,’” Arnold said.

So she, and her husband Greg, partnered with Food Glorious Food catering to provide lunch three days a week to environmental services workers at Children’s Medical Center in Plano and Dallas.

In all, that’s nearly 5,000 meals over six weeks.

The staff is thankful but they say Arnold has given a lot more than just a good meal.

“It really makes you believe in yourself and it makes you want to go over and above, even more, when you’re really recognized,” said Coleman. “It makes your heart merry, it really does.”

Inspiring others to be great, maybe Arnold is a hero after all.

Anyone interested in helping fund meal delivery to hospital staff can visit give.childrens.com.

In addition to helping those on the front lines, supporters can help kids who are patients at Children’s Health.

The 10th annual Red Balloon Run and Ride will be held virtually on Saturday, April 25. Families are encouraged to share pictures or videos of themselves riding, walking, or running while wearing red in order to raise support for Children’s Health.

For more information or to participate, click here.

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