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Meet Courtney and Josh Willis of Mission Regan in McKinney (North Dallas)

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney and Josh Willis.

In 2010, while Josh and Courtney were in Uganda adopting their son, they met a very sick little boy at the orphanage named Regan. Because he was so sick, they assumed he had something difficult to treat like TB, malaria, or AIDS. He had an IV that stayed in his hand at all times to give him fluids, he was too weak to bear weight on his legs, and he couldn’t speak. It was a painful reality that hit home for Josh and Courtney, as their son, Owen, was going home to a family that would provide for him, but Regan and many others may not.

After establishing a relationship with the orphanage’s nurse, Josh asked her what was wrong with Regan. She told him that he was diagnosed with pneumonia – something that Josh and Courtney had seen treated easily so many times in the US. The nurse explained that the doctor prescribed a medication that they could not obtain, and when he asked her what the medication was… Josh was shocked.

A few weeks prior to their departure, the pediatric clinic he worked for was having to throw out several vials of the exact same medication (rocephin) she needed due to the expiration date. He asked the clinic owners if he could pack them for his trip to Uganda, and they agreed that it was a great idea – the medicine hadn’t even expired yet!

Josh told her he’d be right back and went to his room to get the medication. Neither Josh nor the nurse could believe that the very drug Regan needed was going to be discarded…but was donated to them instead.

Over the next few days, it was still touch and go for Regan. But, on the fourth day… Josh walked out of his room and was surprised by one of the greatest sights he had ever seen. Their son, Owen, and Regan were playing together and laughing. He couldn’t believe that he was looking at the same child! By the time they left, Regan was well on his way to becoming healthy!

Regan was so close to death that Josh and Courtney were afraid to check his crib… but the Lord had other plans for this amazing little boy. They were so blessed to be a part of Regan’s life for the few days they were at the orphanage, and they were honored to see God work a miracle right in front of their eyes. Regan’s life inspired Josh and Courtney so much that they went home and started collecting more supplies. Before they knew it…the supply donors and recipients had grown so much that in 2013, they agreed it was time to become a 501c3. Now, in 2020, each month continues to bring new donors and each day brings new people in need both in our own backyard and all over the world. From disaster relief to individuals being released from the hospital in the DFW metroplex, Mission Regan is there to provide for those in need. If someone is in need of a wheelchair for a veteran being released after an amputation or if they have a 40-foot shipping container being filled and shipped to a 3rd world country, Mission Regan is able to provide. And it all started with a very sick little boy…

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
We have found that anything worth doing often comes with challenges. It’s what makes us all stronger! Running a non-profit comes with many of those opportunities. Establishing and running a Board of Directors that is engaged and functioning as a cohesive unit can be a challenge, but we have always been blessed with awesome people who are willing to share their different gifts and talents while serving. Finding the right people along the way can be tough, but they seem to just come right when we need them. Running the operations side of the non-profit became overwhelming about four years in, so we had to raise the funds needed to hire more help. Which leads us to the biggest challenge for most non-profits – Fundraising. Whether it be through extensive planning for events or humbling yourself to ask others to support the work you are doing, asking people for money is never easy. Now that we are experiencing COVID, event planning has become even more difficult and asking people for funds when the economy is struggling is hard.

Please tell us about Mission Regan.
Mission Regan collects medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, clinics, individuals, and distributors then give them to those who need them but can’t afford or obtain them. So, for example, we drive our box truck to Medical City Dallas, get their surplus, then head back to McKinney to sort through it. Once our volunteers sort through it all, we organize everything and place it all on shelves so we know what we have. When someone requests an item or a list of items, we box it up and they come get it.

One thing that we are really thankful for at Mission Regan is that we get to help everyone – regardless of their economic status, their race, their religion, or any other classification. If they have a need, and we can meet that need, we do it! Whether it be gloves and masks, or bandaids and surgical tools…we have it all.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
We had no idea what God was doing when He created Mission Regan. We have put one foot in front of another along the way throughout the years and each year it grows exponentially. I don’t think we would change anything. We have had to learn some lessons along the way, but we use those and are better for learning them. I sometimes think it would be nice to have had some kind of college major in business management, but we really like that we are just normal, regular people picked to do an extraordinary work. It shows others that they can do anything they are called to do too.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
1st pic of lady with shirt listening to the little girl’s heart is by Courtney Gould. Last pic is by Mark Presley

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