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Hometown Holiday Helpers: Ronald

Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 12:41 PM EST
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PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ) - When we made the phone call about the latest recipient of a Hometown Holiday Helpers award, we had no idea Ronald Blevins of Pulaski was one of Santa’s bearded helpers.

For years, Blevins has played Santa Clause at treatment centers, doctors’ offices, and for the past three years has even hand-delivered some extra Christmas cheer to Julian, a little girl beating cancer who couldn’t go to local Christmas parades.

Year-round he’s known to assist those in need, but the holidays are his expertise. An emotional time for Blevins. It could be because he lost his own mother on Christmas Eve.

Or it could also be because he himself was given a gift. A second chance at life.

“Ten years ago, I was a 550-pound person. I wasn’t able to walk across the floor,” recalls Blevins. He was on multiple medications and the outcome on life wasn’t positive.

After gastric bypass surgery, he has lost hundreds of pounds, but gained a beard, and vowed to pay it forward.

“I asked God when I was at Roanoke Memorial, that if he would try to get me back on my feet. I’d help everyone I could.”

And Santa is a man of his word. He has a soft spot for seniors who have been even more secluded this year. And he plans to use some of the money to brighten the lives of more who may not be able to see family this holiday season.

While he may have gone down in size, his heart got bigger. And this year, a good heart is what we need most.

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