Anniston nurse helps heal body, mind and spirit by volunteering
Lyndsey Watts Butterworth is a licensed practical nurse at the Northeast Alabama Regional Medical Center. She spends her weekends taking care of patients, usually working twelve hours shifts.
I learned about Lyndsey’s story as The Anniston Salvation Army’s Captain Bert Lind walked me around the grounds. Lyndsey volunteers , and on this day, was helping out at the warming station opened to keep folks out of the dangerously cold temperatures. She did not offer up the information about herself, just smiled, shook my hand, and went back to her work.
It was only later after a conversation with Captain Lind I decided to return the next day to “surprise” Lyndsey with a request for a picture and some brief questions.
Lyndsey made a chance visit to the Family Store before Christmas last year to shop and happened upon parents wanting to buy bikes for their children. Lyndsey felt she needed to help them. She gave them the money they needed. Lyndsey would return to the store, this time helping more folks who needed furniture.
“This isn’t enough. My husband and I have been blessed,” said Lyndsey.
Lyndsey’s husband suffered a stroke not too long ago. She has seen him fight to recover, and with her help, he has done just that. In fact, his recovery inspired her to take the next step. So, she approached Captain Lind about dedicating one year of her life to volunteering at The Salvation Army.
“I’m giving a gift to help, but there’s a greater gift….God’s.”
With that in mind, Lyndsey helps wherever she’s needed. Her only request to Captain Lind is she cannot and will not work behind a desk, and he’s honored that request.
Usually she sorts donated clothing, but with the warming station opening every time the weather drops below 40 degrees, her main job is providing comfort and support for anyone who walks in the door… just like her job at the hospital.
At The Salvation Army, she’s turned that into helping those who may not be injured on the outside, but somewhere in their lives have lost their way. They need someone to listen. They want to be treated like a normal person. That’s why Lyndsey responds to everyone with a “sir” or “ma’am.”
“It doesn’t matter homeless, rich. They all deserve the same respect. It lets them know someone cares,” said Lyndsey.
In the Alabama, Louisana, Mississippi Division, there are 32 places where someone cares. If you need help, a meal, a place to stay, or help overcoming an addiction or know someone who does, please visit www.salvationarmyalm.org and find the local Salvation Army closest to you.
We are always looking for more volunteers like Lyndsey. Please consider volunteering