CROSS LANES, WV (WOWK) — Teresa Miller has spent her whole life serving others. A natural caretaker from an early age, she’s never met a person or animal that she didn’t care for.
“Love… I just have a strong love for people. That’s why I do what I do,” she said with a smile.
The proud mother and grandmother now spends most of her days serving others. She cooks, bakes, and delivers meals to people that are home bound. She also transports and accompanies people, many of whom are her elderly neighbors, to and from their doctor appointments, the grocery store, and even the hair salon.
When she’s not busy physically helping her neighbors in need, you can find her in the basement sewing quilts for cancer patients, most of whom are complete strangers.
“I’ll have people reach out to me and say, ‘Hey, I know someone who could use a quilt’ or sometimes people find me through church,” explained Miller. “And it’s not much, but I know that something that little can make a difference… just to let people know that they are loved.”
Each quilt comes with a matching heating pack and face mask. The supplies needed to make the quilts, face masks and heating pads, comes directly from her own pocket. She never charges for the help she offers.
“The Lord told me that’s what I needed to do, so that’s what I do,” explained Miller.
It’s a mission that is close to her heart. In 2011, Teresa’s son, Richie, died from pancreatic cancer. He was 31-years-old.
“When my son got sick with the pancreatic cancer, anytime someone would come in and help, bring him something to eat, bring him something.” She added, “It just brought me so much joy. And after he passed, I knew that was something that I needed to do.”
In addition for her love for other people, Teresa also has a strong love for animals, according to her husband Mike. He says his wife feeds the neighborhood’s animals, including the crows, and frequently brings in strays until she can find them a permanent home.
“One time, she delivered puppies in the middle of the night. A dog was tied up outside with no one in sight and she brought that thing in and it had puppies in our garage that night.”
You are only ever a stranger in the Miller’s home one time, something that is quickly evident the moment you first meet Teresa.
Every October, she hosts an annual event that allows for family, friends, neighbors, and members of her church to join in on the lost tradition of making apple-butter over an open flame in a 55-gallon cauldron. The Millers host it in their backyard and every person who attends, leaves with a goodie bag.
When nominating his wife, Mike wrote the following:
“Teresa is an amazing woman, wife, mother and friend; and is more than deserving of this award. This woman is overly giving, kind, has time for everyone and possesses a heart of gold that’s as big as Alaska. Did I mention that she’s just as beautiful as her heart? The community is a better place, because of her impact.”Mike Miller
But Teresa doesn’t ever want the attention. If it were up to her, she’d stay out of the spotlight. She does it out of the kindness of her heart and her love for helping others.
“I don’t so this stuff so people know because when I do the blankets, people don’t even know where they come from. I don’t ever want recognition. I have a love for people and that’s why I do it.”