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.”
Miami, Oklahoma, resident Vicky Williams has donated more than 22,000 volunteer hours over the past two decades. At age 89, Williams consistently volunteers 80 hours each month.
Those who know her best say she is a loveable, compassionate and caring volunteer. A recent example details an elderly gentleman who was placed in a residential home. He asked Williams to bring his Army blanket to him as a reminder of his younger days in the military. The blanket, unfortunately, had been discarded along with the contents of the man’s home.
However, Williams scavenged local thrift shops until she found a suitable replacement.
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.”