Dottie Pollack was a charter member of South Florida Baptist Hospital’s auxiliary program started in 1971
Few people have built a relationship with South Florida Baptist Hospital in the same fashion that volunteer Dottie Pollack has.
Pollack, a lifelong native of Plant City, is celebrating her 50th year as a volunteer with the hospital at 91 years old.
And of all the pins that adorn her red embroidered coat, one shimmers the brightest as it signifies her over 20,500 hours of volunteer service with the hospital.
“It’s been an enjoyable experience,” Pollack said. “It’s certainly amazing to make the 50-year mark, 50 years of service. There was a lot of nice experiences with it but the best thing about it was helping other people and meeting new people. So many of the people that I’ve worked with I probably would not have met otherwise.”
Volunteering has always played a key role in Pollack’s life. After marrying, Pollack said that she was lucky enough to leave her job with the telephone company and immerse herself in work with her church, First Baptist Church of Plant City, and with the Plant City Women’s Club. She also regularly volunteered at her daughters’ school as they were growing up. When she felt her two daughters were old enough, Pollack joined the hospital’s volunteer force as a charter member of their auxiliary program in 1971.
Throughout that time Pollack has worked with SFBH’s public relations department, community health fairs, back-to-school physicals and fundraising while also working as treasurer, historian, at the information desk assisting visitors and, in recent years, at the hospital’s off-site Cancer Center doing record-keeping.
“Dottie is dedicated,” SFBH volunteer coordinator Eugena Gale said in a statement. “She never looked at this as volunteering, she looked at it as her job. Anything we asked her to do, she did. She is a sweet lady. I wish I had 10 more (volunteers) just like her.”
Pollack has also naturally seen a number of significant changes come to the hospital itself over the years, from renovations, remodels and relocations of sections like the lobby, information desk, emergency room, surgery, pharmacy, administration and gift shop. But most notably she’s bore witness to the vast improvements made through technology in the healthcare industry.
“To think that I’ve done it for 50 years, that’s kind of amazing to me,” Pollack said. “And what I’ve seen, the advancements of everything and the technology that’s here. That’s just so amazing.”
Pollack has been unable to volunteer over the past year however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but plans to return when she is permitted to.
“I think it’s just my nature,” Pollack said. “Helping other people and not necessarily thinking about me. I think we’re put here to help other people as much as we can, being thoughtful and caring and looking at others and not just yourself. If there’s a need, fill it. That’s the best thing that I can say. And I’m very blessed to have 91 years and still be able to do something to help others.”