What's in a name? A lot of love.

Megan Alpers
Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Amid the hustle and bustle of the lobby at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, artist Lynne Glendenning is sitting quietly, organizing a colorful array of markers, paints and glitter in preparation for a busy day.

Once everything is in order, she picks up a pink and white metal coin bank and selects a permanent marker. Within minutes she has adorned the box with the name Ava, adding flair and sparkles to the lid.

“Every child deserves something special,” Lynne says. “Having a gift with their name on it makes it even more personal.”

A few times a month, Lynne sets up her table outside the hospital’s gift shop, offering free personalization on items priced $10 or more purchased there. Over the course of 10 years, she has added names and messages to everything from cupcake-shaped coin banks to dancing giraffe stuffed animals. As a member of the hospital’s Roth Auxiliary, which operates the gift shop and is committed to helping families who cannot afford the costs of their child’s treatment, Lynne says she enjoys being able to give something to patients and their families.

A little over a decade ago, Lynne was already an accomplished artist, working with families throughout the Bay Area and beyond to create one-of-a-kind murals for children’s rooms. Her world came to a halt when her sister passed away from cancer. Lynne says she lost her inspiration to paint.

One of Lynne’s friends, who was involved in the Roth Auxiliary, encouraged her not to give up her talent, and to use it to bring smiles to families at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Lynne took her advice and fell in love with the hospital.

Today, our patients, staff and volunteers look forward to her visits. She exchanges friendly greetings with families as they pass her table, and catches up with hospital staff whom she now considers friends.

“Volunteering here is something I really cherish,” Lynne says, “It gave me back my hope and inspiration, and I am so glad I can do something to bring a bit of joy to children and their families as they are treated here.”

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