Aunt Betty

“The heart of a volunteer is never measured in size, but by the depth of
commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.” 

DeAnn Hollis

This quote expresses the core intentions of volunteers, their devotion to spreading positivity by whatever means they have at their disposal. Aunt Betty was such a person.

When I knew her, she was in her eighties and confined to a wheelchair due to an accident that damaged her spinal cord. But her entire life had been devoted to helping others, and nothing would prevent her from carrying on with her kind deeds.

Her niece Lynne’s mother died when Lynne, her twin brother, and older sister were young. Aunt Betty and her husband Russ took them in and raised them as their own. Lynne said, “She was like a second mother to me. A natural organizer and ‘take-charge’ person, she got things done, dealing with difficulties in a straightforward manner. She always set a marvelous example that continues to guide our family.”

Bright sunny yellow was Aunt Betty’s favorite color and often appeared in her creations. It matched her cheerful disposition, as she stayed purposeful making afghans for our patients, prayer shawls for those going through difficult times in her church community, and scarves, hats, and blankets for the homeless. To get the yarn to Aunt Betty, we employed a “relay system”.

Our volunteer Annie and Lynne belonged to the same church. Annie would get several bags full of yarn when she volunteered on Friday. She took the yarn to Lynne at church the following Sunday. Lynne then delivered the yarn when she visited her aunt during the week. Aunt Betty would complete 3-4 beautiful afghans in a few weeks, when the process was then reversed.

Despite difficulties in our own lives, we can always find others experiencing tough times. Our issues may prevent us from doing some things, but we can ask ourselves, “What can I still do to reach out to help a fellow human being, using my knowledge, previous experience, skills?” Aunt Betty’s answer was clear, as she applied her crochet talents to touch the lives of others in need.