Houston Hospice Names 2020 Volunteer of the Year

Building a culture of caring is exemplified in the life of our 2020 Volunteer of the Year, Rob Henderson, as we share his inspiration, what draws him to hospice care, and how he became Volunteer of the Year.


Rob Henderson has been named Houston Hospice 2020 Volunteer of the Year

Rob Henderson – Volunteer of the Year

“Rob Henderson is a committed volunteer who goes the extra mile for Houston Hospice,” said Volunteer Manager Patty Valle.

As a retired engineer, Rob has found his calling to serve others. At Houston Hospice, he volunteers his friendly smile at the main office front desk on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition, he participates in our volunteer team meetings, and has served on the Employee Committee as volunteer representative.

Over the past two years, he has found many more ways to connect with others at Houston Hospice. “Rob is also one of our Home Care Volunteers and is always willing to visit or call a patient if needed,” Patty continued. “Also, he is quick to offer donations and his time to help families in need.” When he is not visiting with patients, attending meetings and answering phones, Rob finds time to assist with data entry, and recently began repairing the 100+ shutters in our inpatient unit.

“We sincerely thank Rob for the many gifts he has shared with our staff, patients, and families. He goes where Houston Hospice has a need, and is always ready for his next assignment. Rob exemplifies the true spirit of hospice volunteering,  and has made a positive impact on all of us. For this we are truly grateful,” said Patty.

Living My Best Life, an interview about family and giving back

Houston Hospice: What brought you to Houston?
Rob Henderson: I keep returning to Houston, which I moved to in 1968, but have had transfers to Massachusetts, Oregon, and Grenoble, France. I am retired from the engineering world, although I spent only a few years doing real engineering work before going into technical marketing, sales, and management. I miss my association with technical types, but its reward pales in comparison to the satisfaction I get from my work as a volunteer.

Rob Henderson found his calling at Houston Hospice

HH: Who are you thankful for?
RB: My amazing wife, who has put up with me for 44 wonderful years, is my best friend. Our son lives in Plano, Texas, and our daughter lives with her husband and our 10-year-old granddaughter (who we like to spoil, every chance we get!) in Damon, Texas. We cherish spending time with our family and enjoy taking cruises together … or at least until recently. We also enjoy splitting our time between our principal residence in Sugar Land and our little lake house at Lake Conroe.

HH: What drew you to hospice volunteering?
RH: I was visiting my 91-year-old father in Florida, whom I believed was in good health, having successfully beaten prostate cancer and bladder cancer, when he was rushed to the hospital in extreme pain. By the next day, we found out that in addition to having a large malignant mass in his liver, cancer had also spread to his ribs and likely to his brain. In a 24-hour period, our lives had changed, and the world seemed to be coming apart at the seams. Ten days later, Dad died, only 10-1/2 short months after my mother had passed away at the age of 89.

While Dad was only on hospice for a handful of days, the hospice team was so compassionate and helpful that I could not imagine what we would have done without them. It was then I realized my calling. Only a few months after retiring, I knew what I was going to do with my time. I was going to become a hospice volunteer.

As I was determined to associate myself with the most highly respected hospice in the Houston area, I asked doctors, nursing homes, and friends for advice. This was an easy task, as the number of people that pointed me towards Houston Hospice was overwhelming. After training, I began volunteering precisely one year after the day my father passed away.

Being a hospice volunteer is undoubtedly the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I am truly blessed to be working with amazing volunteers and dedicated staff as we care for patients and their families. I often mention that while a person can be paid to provide care, it takes a special person to really CARE for someone.  What a privilege it is to work with so many people who really care!

Seeking the same experience? Visit www.houstonhospice.org to Volunteer today!

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