KENDALL (CBS4) – Imagine keeping a job for fifty years. For one south Florida woman, she did just that, only she did it for free as a volunteer.
Barbara Collins was recognized for fifty years of volunteer work at Baptist Hospital.
“I have received so much love. You are my family, my extended family,” said Barbara Collins to CBS4’s Jorge Estevez.
Collins, 82, has been adding to her Baptist Hospital family since 1961, less than a year after the hospital in Kendall opened it’s doors. Collins has logged almost 40,000 volunteer hours. That is as much time as a full time employee would work over twenty years.
“For her to volunteer for 50 years without any break in that level of service is really something. Nobody even comes close to something like that,” said Brian Keeley, President/C.E.O. of Baptist Health.
Collins’ work extends to the Baptist Foundation which continues to raise money for the hospital.
How did she do it for so long?
She credits her late husband Paul for actively encouraging her passion until his death four years ago.
“He was fully supportive of me. In 1986, he started volunteering for 20 years,” said Collins.
But now, Collins has a room full of support which she hopes will help keep her going just a bit longer.
“Good Lord, if you let me live til 82, let me live to be 90 and you will let me sneak out the back door and let me go home,” joked Collins.
Collins lifetime of work will be remembered at Baptist Hospital. They are renaming their volunteer center the Barbara Collins Department of Volunteer Services.