It was Dale Carnegie who once said “Happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have, but it depends solely on what you think.” Betty Warren, a Neighbors Along The Line food pantry client, often comes to mind when I recall that quote. With my back to my office door, I suddenly hear “and how are you today…” as I turn I can see Betty’s smiling face beaming back at me. Betty has a warm charisma of sorts that makes you feel as if your visit with her was always too short. As we sit and chat for a while she begins to speak of some of her experiences and how she came to be involved with N.A.T.L.
Betty was born in a small mining town located southeast of Tulsa called Bokoshe. When she was 2 years old her parents migrated to north Tulsa. Betty married at the young age of 17, and soon celebrated the birth of two daughters. After several years of working in factories such as Coca Cola, Pepsi, and South Western Metal, Betty began working in the home health care industry. “That is where I found my niche,” Betty says. “It was like I was made for that type of work, and I would not trade that experience for the world.” With a heart wired for caring, she described herself during those years as a protective “mother hen” when it came to the care of her patients. She worked in north Tulsa for the last 12 years of her career, during which she cared for a wide range of individuals spanning from the distinguished to the ordinary. She describes her time with some of her patients as being a “living history lesson.” Betty retired after 19 years of service in home health care and now resides in west Tulsa.
About 8 years ago Betty’s retirement income was nearly depleted and she was faced with how she would manage to continue paying food, utility, and other expenses. Betty heard through a friend that N.A.T.L. was a friendly place and could definitely help her offset some of her food expenses by using our food pantry. So she decided to give Neighbors a try, and sure enough her friends were right. She says, “Neighbors really helped me when I needed it and continues to help me.” Betty has an eye for good service and says that “The N.A.T.L. staff and volunteers are special… always helpful and friendly to me.” Betty even contents that chivalry is not dead because anytime she is at neighbors the food workers who bring the groceries out to her automobile are always “consummate gentlemen.” As Betty enjoys her life and particularly reflects on the company of her 2 children, 5 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, she sums it all up with “the longer it goes, the better it gets!” Our goal is that Betty as well as all of our clients at N.A.T.L. would have that same sentiment when they reflect on N.A.T.L. and our impact on the west Tulsa community.