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Volunteer Spotlight – Judy White


Judy White exudes a deep humility and a tender sweetness when you meet her. She has a lot to say about her time spent volunteering but doesn’t much like the idea of idea of someone bragging on her for it. She talks about her time as a volunteer in the clinic on the Avery campus more like it’s a love story than work she’s done. It’s her chance to give back. Judy was raised in a loving and stable home and wants to do what she can to share that love and stability with the children. She talks about volunteering liked it’s the natural next step. Love poured in. Love poured out. It’s not complicated for Judy. It’s just what you do.

Taking action.

Judy has been a clinic volunteer since 2012. She grew up in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, moved to North Carolina as a teen, and first heard about Crossnore in high school. She recently retired after 45 years as a nurse. Judy spent over half that time as the parish nurse for Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. Her church has supported Crossnore for many years, and it was through Covenant that she heard more about the organization. So, after retirement, Judy called the administrative office on the Avery campus and told them she’d like to learn more. She took a tour, learned more about Crossnore’s work, and immediately signed on to volunteer helping the Clinic Nurse. Judy recalls, “I just called them up. ‘I’d like to volunteer as a nurse, I said.’” And so her years of loving kids as they came through the clinic began.

Judy has worked in the clinic nearly every month since she began volunteering at Crossnore. There, she assists Tammy Henson, Director of Health Services, with whatever she may need, whether it’s taking vitals, soothing fears, and prepping the kids for their check-ups, or just doing administrative tasks around the office.

Judy does a lot more than that though. She tells most everyone she knows about Crossnore. Judy hands out brochures and pamphlets to her friends and family and asks people to donate to Crossnore for their memorial and Christmas giving. She may give her time and expertise as a nurse, but she’s given her heart to the cause.  “When children can’t be with their biological families, Crossnore creates family. From the nurse to the dining hall staff to the cottage parents to the social workers, it’s family,” Judy says. And anything Judy can do to help that family, she’s going to do.

Kindness matters.

Judy recounts a story of a young boy she met in the clinic. He had come through several times and had begun to recognize and trust her. One day, riding through campus, he recognized Judy’s car and came running over. Judy recalls, “He jumped right up and kissed my cheek. He recognized me. He recognized that I was someone who had been kind to him. And kindness matters.” That’s the mantra that sums up Judy’s work with Crossnore. When asked why she volunteers, she says, “This world can be a very harsh place. We’ve all had hard experiences. If you can improve (the children’s) self-esteem, if you can find one thing they’re interested in to talk about, if you can find one way to care about them, make their minute, their hour, their day just a little bit better, you should do it.”

Passing it on.

“I know I’m doing something for Crossnore, but Crossnore is doing something for my spirituality too. It’s such a special place. You see Creator God there, taking care of the people, of the children. It really is a sanctuary. Hope and healing are alive there.” Judy’s main goal is simple – to do her part to help share that hope and healing with the next generation, so they can, in turn, help the generation that comes after them. It’s about “being grateful and sharing what you have. Kindness is what we can pass on, one person at a time.”

Make a story
Show how love and joy, beauty and goodness
Shine out amongst the rubble
Wendell Berry

To find out more about our current needs and volunteer opportunities, visit www.crossnore.org/volunteer.
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