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.”
Oklahoma City resident Mary Holt was honored for her work as a Foster Grandparent volunteer, donating 9,000 hours since 2003.
Holt takes time each day to work with her students and often devotes her lunch period to help those students with their reading assignments.
She encourages students to reach their highest level of achievement and in the winter, Holt makes sure students have proper clothing and coats. Teachers and students alike who work with Holt often describe her simply as “awesome.”
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.”