OKLAHOMA CITY -- The state of Oklahoma saved more than $38 million dollars last year as a result of hours and service donated by volunteers. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) recognized those volunteers in a state awards ceremony held recently at the Oklahoma History Center.
The 30th Annual Volunteer Awards Ceremony, “A Symphony of Service,” honored a number of Oklahomans for their outstanding contributions. OKDHS Interim Director Preston Doerflinger presented opening remarks, and the event was hosted by OKDHS Chief Administrative Officer Sandra Harrison and Communications Coordinator Sheree Powell.
“I am very proud to be a part of some great things going on at the Oklahoma Department of Human Services,” Doerflinger said. “It is an honor to be here and I want to personally thank each of you for your time and for your service.”
Eagletown, Oklahoma, resident Ruby Chadwick was honored for contributing 1,844 volunteer hours in just a few years’ time. Chadwick contributes to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program at the Eagletown Senior Citizen Nutrition Center.
She cooks, cleans and serves hot meals to those who visit. She transports seniors to and from the center for lunch, takes them to the doctor and out to buy groceries. Chadwick also delivers meals to the home-bound.
Additionally, Chadwick does lawn work at the center, and once spent the night in her vehicle with a shotgun to deter vandals. Other activities include volunteering for the Eagletown Volunteer Fire Department and serving as Vice President of the Cemetery Board.
Chadwick was born and raised in Eagletown, and residents there say she is a “pillar of the community, and loved by all.”
More than 100 people attended the ceremony including volunteers, their family and friends and several state legislators.
“I have the best job at OKDHS,” said Karen Jacobs, Coordinator of the OKDHS Office of Volunteerism. “I work with and recognize individuals and organizations who have given so generously to their neighbors and to their state. They certainly do not do it for any glory or recognition, but simply because they have a gentle and caring nature. These individuals truly represent the best of what makes Oklahoma so special.”