The world is mourning the loss of our beloved friend and Humanity Road family member Bettie Wooten Tussey. Bettie tweeted as @RVAREgal In January of 2010 Bettie Tussey joined Humanity Road in response to the Haiti earthquake, and our lives were transformed. When Bettie walked into a room, you noticed. She was a vivacious, well spoken and true southern lady. She was known for her wit and straight forward matter of speech. But she was no wilting flower, she didn’t mince words. Bettie had a master of the english language and knew exactly what she wanted to say.
It was seven years ago this week that Bettie Wooten Tussey reached out to Chris Thompson to help our group of volunteers. She officially joined Humanity Road on January 27, 2010.
Good night Twitter friends. Sleep tight so that you’ll be ready to lend a helping hand when the sun comes up! 🙂
— Bettie (@RVAREGal) February 11, 2010
In her own words: “When I saw that the earthquake had struck in Haiti, I wanted more information on it and felt the need to do what I could to help. At the time, I was not aware of digital response to disasters but after searching Google, I discovered that help, in the form of needs and meeting those needs, was being done through a number of people on Twitter. I had a Twitter account but had never really used it. I very quickly joined in on searching for needs and tweeting. Shortly thereafter, I saw a tweet from HR (@HumanityRoad) indicating that they were looking for volunteers so I signed up and began tracking needs using the Ushahidi platform that had been established in conjunction with the test to 4636.”
Bettie Tussey, 5th Year Anniversary interviews in 2015. You can read the entire interview here
Her work was immediately felt. She helped with mapping, recruiting, staffing and filling urgent needs. She helped track down and monitor radio broadcasts as well as worked on solving requests for help.
In the past seven years Bettie helped support disasters around the world, including the Libya crisis map, Christchurch Earthquake, Recover Alabama, Hurricane Irene, School shootings, flooding in USA and many others. She put in thousands of hours of service and earned the United States President’s Gold Volunteer Service award which was signed and issued to her by President Barack Obama.
Bettie was a thought leader and was known for filling her timelines in social media with sage advice, wit and humor, often sharing the best tips and advice with her digital friends and family. She was a good friend and treasured member of our Humanity Road family. Bettie will remain in our hearts forever. We celebrate her life and want to close today with advice she shared thirty days after the earthquake struck Haiti. “Goodnight Twitter friends. Sleep tight so that you’ll be ready to lend a helping hand when the sun comes up! :)” We will Bettie and goodnight to you sweet friend!
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Funeral services will be held on Monday at Woody Funeral Home – Huguenot Chapel Midlothian, Virginia. Visitation Prior to Service Monday, January 23, 2017 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm with a Memorial Service at 2:00 pm. For those friends who can not make it to the service a guest book digital memorial has been set up online. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Richmond Humane Society, the VCU Alumni Association or Humanity Road.