Autistic Girl Volunteers At Longview Shelter - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/2/05-Longview

Autistic Girl Volunteers At Longview Shelter

Many of the evacuees staying at the Longview Red Cross Shelter are discouraged over the loss of their homes, and not being able to go back right away, but there's a special little girl that's cheering them up. On any given day at the Longview Red Cross Shelter, you'll see 19-year-old Lindsay Wood busily going about helping evacuees.

"She sets a pace for a lot of us and is a good example, a good reminder to us when the shift gets long," says Jimmy Foreman, a Red Cross worker.

Wood is autistic, but she hasn't let her condition stop her from caring about everyone who's been a victim of a hurricane.

"This community is not giving up on them and they shouldn't give up on themselves," she says.

She talks to everyone she comes in contact with. And often she does the one thing that evacuees want most. She listens.

"A lot of them are just overjoyed because sometimes they just need one person, somebody just to listen, and that makes everything better," says Wood.

Her warmth is expressed in holding hands or a hug, in hopes that it will make a difference to someone who's hurting, a hurt that she feels.

"They lose everything they have and you just feel like there's only so much you can do," Lindsay says.

She sees the good in all people, and those who know her wish they had a few more Lindsay Woods around.

"At least they leave here with a feeling of comfort. There is some good out of it hopefully," she says.

Lindsay has volunteered every day that the shelter has been open.

Bob Hallmark reporting, bhallmark@kltv.com

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