Every Monday for the last 30 years Barbara Dillingham has volunteered at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Now, at age 87, the grandmother of five and great-grandmother of eight is just as committed as ever to her weekly volunteering sessions. Barbara knew that she wanted to volunteer at Children's when her own daughter spent a week in one of our hospitals.
"I saw so many children that needed help, and I said, OK, one of these days I'm going to come back and work," Barbara said. "Originally, I thought I might help hold babies, but I learned there are many ways to serve here."
Children's has made good use of Barbara's charm and energy. Spend a few minutes chatting with her in the lobby and you'll realize what a central figure she is to the hospital. Passersby often stop in to say "hello" and check on her or ask her a question.
Today, Barbara spends her time in the gift shop at Scottish Rite Hospital where she helps shoppers find the perfect presents for patients. But she's had many different volunteer roles at Children's throughout the years, including serving as a volunteer coordinator and a patient representative as well as manning the front desk.
"I've always told everybody that Children's knows how to treat their volunteers. You just feel appreciated here. Everybody's so kind," adds Barbara. "It's been a very happy experience for me. Thirty years has just flown by."
In addition to being a committed volunteer at Children's, Barbara is generous with regular financial support and as a legacy donor she has committed to continuing our mission well into the future, so that we may continue to serve the community for many more years to come.
"For me it was an obvious choice. There is such a need. And taking care of all children is so important to me. People say it all the time, but they really are the future," Barbara said.
Visit choa.org/volunteer to learn how you can become a volunteer at Children's.