Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto volunteer Paul Lewis was named the 2012 volunteer of the year by the Mississippi Hospital Association.
For more than a decade, Mr. Paul, as colleagues refer to him as, has been a friendly face at Baptist DeSoto volunteering three days a week, eight hours a day. Lewis, who just celebrated his 90th birthday and 69th wedding anniversary, has dedicated his life to volunteer work throughout the community. Some of his past volunteer efforts include cooking, cleaning and mentoring soldiers at the U.S.O. Lambert Airport base; assisting at the Shriners Hospital; and nearly 20 years volunteering with the Salvation Army.
His passion every day lies within the walls of Baptist DeSoto. Lewis is known for sharing baked goods such as caramel cake and cookies with his friends at the hospital as he makes rounds on the floor, or asking for soda can tabs to add to his eight-gallon bucket he collected for burn victims at the children’s hospital.
In his many years of service to the hospital, his voice has been instrumental in helping establish the yearly Shoeboxes for Soldiers initiative. As a veteran of the Navy, Lewis assisted the hospital in spearheading a community-wide effort to provide soldiers from DeSoto, Marshall, Tunica, Tate and Panola counties with much-needed supplies. In four years, the volunteers at the hospital have collected roughly 10,000 care packages filled with supplies for local troops. He is a cherished member of the Baptist DeSoto family.