Barbara Henry has dedicated her whole life to volunteer service for Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters.
She started volunteering when she was 14 for what was then the children's clinic, which did not become a full hospital until 1961.
Henry went room-to-room reading to the children with a group of 14 family and friends called her circle. Circles of volunteers continue to help the hospital today.
"My mom thought we needed something to do, so we went to volunteer at the hospital," Henry said.
In the 1970s her circle wanted a big project to work on and they noticed that there was no gift shop in the hospital. Henry and her friends started going room-to-room selling candy bars and magazines to patients and their families.
They started a shop, small at first.
"We kept the money in a cigar box and if we made $16, then that was a good day," Henry said.
That was the predecessor to today's gift shop.
Henry has seen the hospital and the gift shop evolve. Today she can be found in the shop every Wednesday afternoon.
"I love it and I can't imagine doing anything else on a Wednesday afternoon," she said.
After 66 years of service, she is the only one from her circle who still volunteers in the hospital.
Through college and married life with a family of her own, Henry's dedication to the hospital never wavered. According to CHKD, Henry has volunteered approximately 4,000 hours, though it is hard to be certain of the exact number.
Seeing the staff and children happy is Henry's favorite part of working in the gift shop.
"The staff is wonderful," she said. "I love helping the children."
Henry recommends the children's hospital to anyone looking for a place to volunteer their time.
"The gift shop is a lot of fun, but there are lots of areas to help," she said.
And while you're there, she said, "Come on down and visit us at the gift shop." nib
- Megan Stamper