Community embraces long-time volunteer in Gr8 Acts of Kindness
JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Her pies are legendary! The depths of her caring spirit are even bigger than that.
Linda Sue Walker has helped hundreds of people in her community at some of the most trying times of their lives.
They nominated her for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.
What happened next was nothing short of magical.
On a Monday night, we arrived outside of Central Baptist Church where family and friends gathered for a meal, a slide show, and an evening to show their appreciation to Walker.
The timing was impeccable.
The first time this event was planned, it was called off due to Linda being diagnosed with COVID-19.
But this night, Walker was feeling better and standing at the front of the room when I walked in. Our camera crew followed close behind and then several staffers from First Community Bank.
“If ever there’s a picture that depicts giving, you are front and center,” I said.
The entire room erupts in applause and Walker smiles.
Four television monitors in the room prominently display photos of this grandmother and mother.
People from all parts of Poinsett County and beyond came to recognize the woman who has been there for them in the darkest of days.
“If anyone needs anything due to sickness or a death in the family, she’s always right there,” Brenda Cooper Davis said. Davis has known Walker for a great deal of her life.
“When your down, she’s there trying to build you up,” David Howard, Walker’s brother-in-law said. “But she knows.”
Always ready to lend a helping hand at the People Helping People building in Amagon, she helped to get this non-profit started way back in 2001.
Here she is when we interviewed her in 2012.
“The love that has come into this is just unbelievable,” Walker said.
“I treat people like I want to be treated,” Walker said.
“She has helped so many people... it’s unreal,” Anita Block said. Block is a life-long friend.
“I don’t know anyone that she hasn’t touched their heart in some way,” Howard said.
The celebration is especially meaningful and the timing well, it’s perfect.
“Friday is my last (radiation) treatment,” Walker said.
Walker has cancer.
“It’s inoperable small cell carcinoma,” Walker explained.
So her family and friends wanted Linda Sue to hear from them why she means so much.
“I love you!” a friend said as she Facetimed her way to the event on a phone.
“I used to wonder how she would always know where she was needed, but I figured it out. She seeks it out. She looks to see where she’s needed,” Davis said.
That was evident when people were asked to stand if Walker had done something for them.
“I’m not good with words. But, I can go and cook and wash dishes when somebody passes away,” Walker said. “That seems to be my gift. My talent.”
“Even in the midst of your own struggles, you are still helping people,” I said to Walker. She nodded her head in acknowledgment.
“And that is why you are the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness,” I said. A round of applause punctuated with screams for Walker fill the room.
“I can think of no one better that has meant more to the community than you,” David Daniel, business development officer for First Community Bank, said.
“I just felt blessed and honored and loved,” Walker said of being selected for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness. “You know I’m thankful that God had put so many people in my life.”
“It’s an honor and a blessing,” Walker said.
“You are the blessing!” I said.
Walker smiled a broad grin.
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