OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) Office of Community and Faith Engagement (OCFE) hosted its 35th annual Volunteer and Community Partner Recognition Awards Ceremony on April 18, 2018 at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Defining Excellence!’ Twelve organizations and six individuals were recognized for their efforts and contributions to communities statewide. The awards were presented by Sheree Powell, DHS Director of Communications and Community Relations.
Mark Livingston received the Ed Birchall Humanitarian Service award for his advocacy for children as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). The award is named after the late humanitarian Ed Birchall, also known as Ho-Ho the Clown. Regina Birchall and Sponji the Clown were also present to honor Livingston.
As a CASA volunteer, Livingston advocates for children in court, ensures Individual Education Plans (IEPs) are met, attends school events and birthday celebrations for children on his caseload, and serves as a mentor and tutor. Assigned to Millwood Schools, Livingston provides an important support system for children in his community.
“We salute all our volunteers - they are so inspiring,” said DHS OCFE Administrator Karen Jacobs. “From individuals to group efforts, we have seen a genuine outpouring of compassion and commitment to help others. It is humbling to see so many people get involved in their communities to help meet the ongoing needs of families and children across the state.”
From left: DHS Communications Director Sheree Powell, Mark Livingston, Regina Birchall, Sponji the Clown