The Meridian Nana: Lisa Smiley

Lisa Smiley is the Meridian nana - a nickname she picked up after working seven years in the infant room of Highland Baptist's Child Development Center.

"They call me the Meridian nana because a lot of them don't have family in Meridian, so I'm just their nana," Smiley says.

Smiley was nominated for 11 Who Care by one of the parents who recognized just how selfless Smiley is.

"She'll give you a little teething toy and say 'When I was in Walmart on Saturday, I thought about y'all.' She's just always thinking about others," Sara Odom says.

When she's not helping raise babies in this community, she's helping other kids by granting their wishes through the Make a Wish Foundation.

"They're so excited that someone cares," Smiley says. "They can go on a trip. I've had several to go to Hawaii, Disney World, the mountains, we took several on shopping sprees, and they just say it's the best day of their lives."

Smiley puts on fundraisers to make that happen.

"What a special woman," Odom says. "It's like her whole life has been dedicated to helping others."

Part of what makes her so special is that she chooses to give back, despite the hardship she has experienced in her own life.

"I'm a cancer survivor of 20 years," she says. "I had cancer in 1996. My children were very small. It was a great experience for me and my children to go through."

That's why she attends the survivors walk with Relay for Life to support others battling the disease.

"There are certain people in the world that would never want the glory for anything," Odom says. "All they do constantly every single day is give to others. And those are the kind of people we do need to give the glory to. Those are the kind of people that need to be recognized."

You can nominate someone for 11 Who Care through the application attached to this page.