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.”
The Ottawa County Senior Companion Program in Miami donated 24,000 volunteer hours of service in 2011. More than 23 volunteers work 20 hours per week, providing assistance and fellowship to older persons in the county who generally live alone.
The volunteers take care of simple chores, providing transportation and other assistance to homebound seniors and other frail adults to help them maintain independence.
Many of the volunteers themselves are age 55 or older, and they have provided more than 10 years of service to the Miami and Ottawa County area.
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.”