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.”
Hugo resident, 11-year-old Summer Moffitt, received the “Leader of Tomorrow” award for school-age children. The award is for those who benefit the community or individuals in an ongoing and meaningful way.
Moffitt has contributed nearly 400 hours of volunteer service, working to help children as well as adults in her community. She was honored by the Court Appointed Special Advocates Program (CASA) for her donations to less-fortunate children. Summer visits nursing homes and utilizes her talent for singing and performing sign language for residents.
During the summer months in Pushmataha County, the Antlers Wildlife Museum sponsors a community event called “Pickin’ on the Porch.” Summer sings the “Lord’s Prayer” and “Amazing Grace,” while also performing sign language.
She was also voted “Little Miss Choctaw Nation” for the past three years.
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.”