Volunteering is a way be involved with a variety of organizations and can include almost any activity, from playing the piano at church to managing a hospital gift shop.
Everyone can bring skills and talents to a club or organization; sometimes it only requires showing up with a smile and a little time to spare.
Pat Allen believes being pleasant, having a sincere personality and cooperative attitude, dedication, and punctuality are qualities of a good volunteer.
As manager of the Tahlequah City Hospital gift shop, she’s had ample opportunity to work with some excellent volunteers. She’s been a member of the TCH Auxiliary for over a decade.
“I enjoy and need interaction with people,” Allen said. “Volunteering serves that purpose, and hopefully will make a difference in others’ lives.”
After she retired, Allen had more time to devote to some of these activities.
“Volunteering is a great way to ‘give back’ and show our appreciation by giving a helping hand,” Allen said. “It is a very worthwhile, rewarding experience and a great way to benefit the community.”
Allen is a board member of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cherokee Country; a 24-year member of Philanthropic Educational Organization; a 44-year member of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International; board member of Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City; a representative of NSU Phi Delta Kappa; and a member of NSU College of Education Advisory Council. She also served as a board member for Tahlequah Public Schools from 1995 to 2007.
The PEO Sisterhood promotes educational opportunities for women and celebrates the advancement of women’s education through scholarships, grants, awards, loans.
“Each group is different in particular purpose, but the enjoyment I receive from being a part of the group and to contribute in whatever way I can to the success of each one greatly appeals to me,” she said.
Allen said her parents were great mentors when it came to volunteers – always giving their time to others through the church, and individual needs of people.
“They were the example I chose to follow,” Allen said.
She also appreciates another example set by Irene Chaney, a member of the TCH Auxiliary for many years.
“She volunteered in the surgery waiting department, and was a member of the auxiliary board during that time,” she said.
Allen moved to Tahlequah when she accepted the position to teach, and retired from the NSU College of Education in 1992. She continued as an adjunct professor until 2003.
“I’m proud to call Tahlequah my home,” Allen said.
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