Patricia Henderson

Daily Point of Light # 1549 Jan 11, 2000

Patricia Henderson is a volunteer for the FreeStore/FoodBank, an organization that provides food, products and services to help people overcome barriers to their basic survival needs and further their self-reliance. A program of the Free Store/Food Bank, Back on Track-Work Wear collects and distributes quality professional clothing and accessories, free of charge, to men and women on assistance who have completed job readiness programs and are entering the job market. By providing professional clothing to newly trained men and women, Back on Track-Work Wear aims to enhance self-confidence and increase employment potential, economic independence and job retention.

Henderson manages Back on Track-Work Wear and other volunteers welcome clients, help them pick out clothing appropriate for their job interview, offer tips on professional dressing and dispense words of encouragement. She also handles sorting, sizing, cleaning and repair of all donated clothing by organizing and supervising other volunteers. Henderson maintains the physical facility, making sure it is clean, organized, well stocked and attractive for incoming clientele. She is described as an excellent communicator and makes all that use this service feel welcome and important.

After completing job-training programs, many welfare recipients are ready to work but lack the appropriate attire to wear to interviews. This program helps relieve the costly burden of purchasing clothing placed on many that are moving into employment. Without this program, many people who have job skills would probably be denied employment based solely on their appearance.

Henderson has been active with this program since its inception at the Free Store/Food Bank. She willingly took on the responsibility of getting this program up and running in a very short time, realizing the immediate need for the service and staying focused on the importance of serving clients. With limited resources, Henderson recruited and scheduled volunteers, organized and sized donated clothing, readied the facility for business and opened in just a few short weeks. Since opening in June of 1998, the Back on Track shop has served more than 500 clients.

In addition to the Back on Track shop, Henderson is an active member of the General Electric Elfun program. This program consists of GE employees, retirees, and family members who are active in volunteer programs and community stewardship. Additionally, Henderson, a retired registered nurse, volunteers at the Foot Care Clinic, sponsored by Medical Volunteers of Cincinnati.