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Katy woman reminisces about 35 years of volunteering

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HOUSTON – There will be a lot of presents unwrapped over the next week, but one of the greatest gifts that can be given isn't going to be in any of those boxes.

It's time.

“Katy had nothing but dirt roads,” recalls Avadele Short of her childhood.

At 93 years old, she's seen her hometown change quite a bit. That includes the construction of Katy's first hospital 35 years ago. In fact, she and her husband helped charter the volunteer group at that hospital and she hasn't stopped helping people since.

“He and I were looking for something to do that might help the community so we decided we would be volunteers," Short said.

“These days you can't even find somebody who has been employed somewhere for 35 years getting paid to do that much less coming without a paycheck for 35 years,” says volunteer manager Heather Rojas at what is now Memorial Hermann Katy. “Most people would probably think, 'Gosh, 93 years old. It's time to stay home and relax,' but she keeps coming and she keeps wanting to contribute and she keeps wanting to do more.”

Recently, Short hit the 10,000 mark for number of hours served. With that number, she has been honored by the hospital, named one of Katy Magazine's people of the year and even found herself in front of a KPRC camera.

“For a hometown girl who thought she didn't matter, to be recognized in as many ways as I have is unbelievable. It's something I'll carry with me the rest of my life,” Short said.

In 2008 Malcom Gladwell wrote that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice are required to become world class in any field.

Well, when it comes to volunteering, Short is definitely world class.