By RENEE FITE
Volunteers choose to make a difference with groups that have meaning to them.
For Ginny Wilson, organizations that help women and children have been a priority.
As a board member for Court Appointed Special Advocates and Help-In-Crisis, she’s found a meaningful way to help others. On an appointment to the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women and Children she served four years.
Politics also found a commitment from Wilson. A long-time member of the Democrat Women, she’s been president and vice-president locally, and held district officers, supporting and campaigning for many candidates, “with the goal of electing honest people to serve.”
History and culture appeal to Wilson, a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation. She’s a member of the National Trail of Tears Association and the Cherokee National Historical Society.
“I belong to the Cherokee County Retired Educators, and support the Chamber of Commerce, American Legion Auxiliary and the Thompson House,” Wilson said.
A volunteer gets to know other volunteers, who have enthusiasm and tireless commitment to their community through supporting organizations. Sally Ross is the volunteer Wilson has known and admired.
“A former mayor of Tahlequah, Ross was amazing,” Wilson said. “I enjoyed our friendship but could never keep up with her.”
Other volunteers who influenced Wilson were closer to home. A graduate of Muldrow High School, Wilson “grew up” at Northeastern State University. After completing business school in Tulsa, she married and moved to Tahlequah.
Her first job at NSU was as a clerk typist, at age 20, in 1964. She retired in 2001 as assistant dean of Student Affairs. She also had two children while working full-time.
Her roots are deep here, as both of her maternal grandparents attended the seminaries. And for one semester, she and five siblings were all enrolled at NSU.
“Having lived here almost 50 years, Tahlequah has become my home,” she said.
As long as she can remember, Wilson has belonged to the First United Methodist Church. When her children were small, she taught Sunday school, and over the years has served on many committees.
“My church has been a support group for me all of my life,” she said.
It’s a life that focused early on giving back to the community. Her parents were involved in everything that went on in their community. Her dad was superintendent of schools and her mom was a teacher.
“It was expected of them. They never seemed to have an evening at home,” she said. “I was taught to care about other people.”
Today as a retired woman, Wilson doesn’t even get on a computer. She enjoys traveling and singing in a quartet, “4 Friends.”
Family is also a priority for Wilson.
“I am very proud of my children and their spouses. The time I spend with them and my five grandchildren is very precious to me,” she said.