When you want a gift for a special someone, why not visit Betty Doggette at the Florida Hospital gift shop. Betty works from 8 to 12 every Thursday morning along with 2 other volunteers. Following her suggestion, each takes 1-hour turns at the computer. Betty likes helping customers, and brings a book for quiet times.
The shop has a surprisingly large number of selections. Most popular gifts are balloons and fresh flowers in vases. There are decorative items, kitchen things, candies, baby clothes, and even stuffed animals. The shop accepts cash or credit cards.
In the hospital hallways are three large cases displaying many of these items. When a visitor wants to buy one, a gift shop volunteer will retrieve it and sell it in the shop. If it’s for a patient, the volunteer will deliver it at the visitor’s request.
Gift shop volunteers receive gift shop certificates for Christmas. The only paid employee is the lady in charge of the gift shops of all 3 Florida Hospitals: Wauchula, Sebring, and Lake Placid.
The hospital provides many benefits for all their volunteers. They receive free lunches and 20% off purchases with 25% off on birthdays. At the hospital’s gala each year, a table is set aside for 8 volunteers. Betty has been chosen several times. She has volunteered in the hospital since 2003.
Betty is an adventurer. In her younger days, she enjoyed exciting adventures: hot air ballooning in Arizona, white water rafting on the Shoshone River in Wyoming, paragliding in Hawaii, and water skiing in Maryland.
On May 24, 2017, Betty and her husband, Herb, will celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary.
Said Betty, “We had 3 children, lost one. We have 5 grands. While raising our children, we spent lots of time camping in the various Maryland state parks. We took one trip cross country from Maryland to California to visit my Mom and Dad, stopping at many points of interest along the way.”
Before coming to Florida, Betty taught at Howard Community College in Maryland. Her first assignment was with a vision care program, where she soon became lead teacher and director. Later she taught “Successful Learning Strategies” and courses in introduction to music theory. Her versatile career depended somewhat on the economy, as college enrollment increased during down times. She was always ready to step in and teach as needed.
After earning her master’s degree, Betty taught business and management courses.
While exploring for a new home, Betty and Herb were impressed by the beauty of Tanglewood with its calm, peaceful atmosphere. They have been full time residents since 2004, and enjoy playing golf together. Since 1989 they have gone on some 32 cruises.
Betty continues to help as needed. At her church, The Ridge, she is director of the choir and teaches an adult Sabbath school class.
Having no relatives nearby, Herb and Betty adopted a Sebring family with 3 young children. They share holidays, birthdays, and fellowship. The children are encouraged to write essays to improve their writing skills. After Betty corrects and OK’s an essay, Herb pays each child according to their grade in school. How many real parents are so helpful?!?
Betty keeps busy. Perhaps you’ve met her as a member of two Red Hat Clubs. Or wander into the library on a Monday morning and there she is working.
To contact Betty, phone 385-7117.