By Martha Nodar
Lindy Farley has been volunteering at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite in Sandy Springs for 15 years.
“I always felt fortunate, blessed, to have had healthy children,” the Dunwoody resident said. “After my children went away to college, volunteering at a children’s hospital seemed like a good venue for me to help others.”
Once a week, Farley mans the information desk in the front lobby, directing parents where to go and answering any questions they may have. She said that in some cases, when she senses the parents may need a little more guidance, she escorts them to their destination in an effort to make their visit a little less stressful.
“The goal is to make their time at the hospital as pleasant as possible,” she emphasized.
Farley said that as soon as she arrives at her desk, she checks the list of patients to see if there is anyone she knows. In such cases, she makes a point to visit them and may even stop at the gift shop on her way to their room.
She also is well-known among parents, fellow volunteers and hospital staff members for her skills in making desserts.
Farley’s fellow volunteers appreciate her dedication.
“Lindy is a very generous person with a big heart,” said Terry Ingwersen, a 10-year volunteer, who works at the oncology and hematology outpatient clinic. “And her sweet treats are fabulous.”
“Lindy is such a warm, welcoming person,” said Betty Shults.
Shults, a resident of Sandy Springs, has been volunteering at Scottish Rite for 12 years. Many of those years she has been at the neonatal intensive care unit, where Farley used to volunteer several years ago.
Both Shults and Farley are also part of a special group of volunteers who are involved in hosting a reception for those attending the annual Candle Lighting Memorial Service at Scottish Rite.
This event is held at the hospital’s chapel on Sunday afternoons every December for the family members of the children who have passed away at the hospital.
“Each family that attends the service is given a candle to light after their child’s name is called by the chaplain doing the service,” Shults said.
Brenda Green, the coordinator for chaplaincy and clinical pastoral education at Scottish Rite, said the idea of having an annual memorial service emerged approximately 20 years ago from bereavement groups that met at the hospital each month. When the groups met, some hospital staff members joined the families to mourn children who had passed away.
Shults said the annual event has become a tradition among a group of parents who come year after year, expecting to see Farley there, and eager to try the special sweet treats she prepares for them.
“Lindy brings a lot of joy to those around her,” Ingwersen said.