A quick walk down the halls of Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto is almost impossible for Isabel Webb, who has been a volunteer at the hospital’s welcome desk for more than two decades. She was recently recognized for devoting 25,000 volunteer hours to the hospital over the years, and the 93-year-old has no plans of ending her service to Baptist anytime soon.
“I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly, I really have. They’re just like family here at the hospital,” Isabel said of her hospital acquaintances.
Brenda Harwood, another Baptist DeSoto volunteer, has been working with Isabel for 14 years.
“You couldn’t be around a more pleasant person, absolutely,” Brenda said. “She knows the hospital from top to bottom and loves it here. We love having her around as well.”
An hour alone with Isabel is a rare occurrence. Almost every doctor, nurse, and cafeteria worker will stop to say hello and ask about her day.
“Everybody knows her and everybody likes her. We have people come through all the time who want to say hello or see how she’s doing,” said Patricia Walls, a volunteer who has been working with Isabel for a year. “Even when she’s not here we’ll have people stop by to see when she’ll be in.”
Isabel has been voted best volunteer by the state of Mississippi for her many years of service to Baptist Desoto. She holds the state record for volunteering at one location and is the most tenured volunteer at Baptist DeSoto with 22 years of service. Isabel said she has loved every minute of it.
When she started volunteering at Baptist DeSoto, Isabel didn’t know she would spend so much of her time at the front desk. She said she just wanted to do something and she felt called to volunteer when she saw an advertisement in the newspaper. The first time she tried to apply to volunteer at Baptist she didn’t hear back from anyone, so she called again because she really wanted to be there.
Although Isabel is not able to volunteer as much as she once was, she said she still loves being there and wishes she could work more often. She hopes she can help to brighten the day of someone who is going through a hard time because sometimes a smile can make all the difference.