Meet Our Friend Myrl

We’ve often talked about just how important our volunteer program really is, and how as a locally-operated nonprofit with a small staff, these extra helpers really are the backbone of what we do and are instrumental in executing our mission to provide hospitality, comfort, and support to families with children receiving medical care. But another perk of working with so many volunteers from all across the community has been the perfect opportunity to get to know so many incredible people who all have their own unique and interesting stories!

One of these volunteers who has lived such an interesting life and been such a joy to get to know over the years is Myrl Betts. One of our regular Family Room volunteers needed to take extended leave for 6 weeks, so Myrl came on board as a substitute for that time. That was 8 years ago, and she continues to help cover vacant shifts at the Family Room as a fill-in. In addition to helping at the Family Room, Myrl has also volunteered at our annual RMHCA Pro-Am Golf Tournament at Amarillo Country Club, helping with registration.

When it comes to sharing an array of exciting life experiences, there is no deficit with Myrl’s stories. While volunteering at the Family Room can be exciting in and of itself, Myrl has dialed the thrill factor up a few notches in a different volunteer activity: participating in the City of Amarillo’s Office of Emergency Managament’s mock drills. She has “been in” both a plane crash and an active shooter situation, those are just a couple of times she has helped with those events.

“They are very realistic with the makeup of the injuries and the pictures of how they have made me look make others wonder how I healed up so quickly. “

Myrl is quite a social butterfly. One of her favorite memories from recent times was celebrating her 75th birthday with 90 of her closest friends and colleagues at Hoffbrau. She also was able to cross off two top bucket list items when she was able to see the Gaithers live in concert and also attended a Texas Rangers baseball game, both events that her grandson in Grand Prairie took her to see. While her social life is impressive to say the least, we are equally astonished by the fact that Myrl makes all of her own household cleaning products herself using Essential Oils, including toothpaste and mouthwash. She says her home is about 95% toxic free now…because everyone still needs a tad bit of Lysol on deck, right?

It’s always the various volunteer dinners that we host each year that Myrl most looks forward to, as it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the company of our volunteers, board, and staff members. Though she is managing to stay busy during the COVID health crisis, Myrl says she really just misses being able to be up at the Family Room.

“I love to visit with all of the families, the hospital staff and the other volunteers.  It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling just to know that we offer so much in the Family Room that the families really need from snacks to showers and especially laundry.”

Although she was relocated to Dallas and Phoenix for 12 years with IBM, she considers Amarillo home. Since the day-to-day as we know it changed this spring, Myrl has been staying active with everything from gardening and cooking, to exercising 6 days each week, walking 5 days, and watching Gaither TV and Hallmark Channel. Myrl stands in a line of good company with our fellow volunteers when it comes to her love for McDonald’s french fries.

It’s the volunteer activities that Myrl most looks forward to being able to return to once this pandemic passes. In addition to the Family Room, Myrl also volunteers teaching classes to area homeless folks at the PARC. Before the pandemic, Myrl enjoyed showing the class The Andy Griffith Show and then hosted trivia games on the show!

It’s because of generous souls in our community, like Myrl, that have made it possible to keep the Family Room open for 12 hours per day, 365 days of the year, to best meet the needs of our families. Thank you for all you do for not just RMHC, but in so many ways, the Amarillo community as a whole!