Tahlequah Daily Press


July 5, 2013

Organizations seek summer volunteers

TAHLEQUAH — The volunteer spirit is just one of the qualities of a community that boosts it to a higher standard.

Tahlequah has many amazing and caring citizens who volunteer, and the agencies and organizations where they donate time and talents make the community thrive.

Volunteers perform a variety of needed skills and services that free up time for the staff and add to the ability of the organizations to provide the services to the people in the community who require assistance.

Three of those nonprofits – Court Appointed Special Advocates of Cherokee Country, the CARE Food Pantry, and the Murrell Home – provide advantages and opportunities, from protecting abused and neglected children, to feeding those in need and in protecting and preserving the history that makes the community unique.

Agency directors all agree that without volunteers, they wouldn’t be able to provide services or at least not do as much as they do. And they all can use donations of time and resources, especially funding.

“Cases of child abuse and neglect are up this summer,” said CASA Executive Director Jo Prout.

It’s hard to find enough volunteers for all the cases they serve, Prout said.

“We need for people to sign up to become CASA volunteers, which means to be a voice for children in court, to be an advocate for them,” she said.

Volunteers are CASA’s most pressing need, year in and year out, especially this summer.

“With an increase in cases coming into the courts this summer, more children are being mistreated and neglected,” said Prout. “We’re a small office and we take care of whatever we need – like filing – ourselves.”

Volunteers are given 36 hours of training, then sworn in by a judge, making them officers of the court. Once they’re sworn in, they’re authorized and empowered with a court order to gather information about their case.

“A CASA volunteer’s role is to accumulate information about a child or children in the case. Armed with that information, the CASA volunteer makes a recommendation about the child at that time,” Prout said. “The focus of a CASA volunteer is to always determine what is in the best interest of the child to be safe and in a permanent home.”

No special education or fees are required of volunteers, but they must be 21 or older and not a felon, she said.

“A program like ours, to provide service to abused and neglected children, couldn’t exist without volunteers,” Prout said,

Providing food, managing the computer and stocking shelves are some of the responsibilities for volunteers at the CARE Food Pantry.

Barbara Partak volunteers two mornings a month, and was working the computer Wednesday morning.

“We need people who can run the computer, hand out food in the back, stock shelves, and pick up food from restaurants and grocery stores,” Partak said.

The pantry is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:30 a.m. -to 12:30 p.m. Most volunteer two hours each month.

“Donations of food and sack lunches are also needed,” Partak said. “We can use small cans, like ravioli, beans, Vienna sausages, beans and franks, granola bars, small cakes, bottles of water or tea. One place donates deli sandwiches.”

Food and cash donations are also accepted.

“It’s a good place to volunteer. We see lots of really neat people, very appreciative. And it’s a good group of people to work with,” Partak said.

People interested in history are often those who decide to volunteer at the Murrell Home. The volunteers do everything from outdoor lawn care to computer work and cleaning indoors.

“The greatest need we have this summer is people to work outside weed eating, landscaping and gardening,” said Volunteer Coordinator Amanda Pritchett.

Re-enactors and people with their own 19th-century period clothing are also need for Living History volunteers.

“We do Living History demonstrations, school tours, events and it’s hit-and-miss if we have clothing for volunteers,” Pritchett said.

Other needs at the Murrell Home include curatorial work, she said.

“Sometimes volunteers help me clean artifacts and do inventory,” she said.

Run by the state, the only ante-bellum home in Oklahoma doesn’t have a lot of funding.

“We couldn’t do the scope of programming we do without volunteers. We only have three full-time staff,” Pritchett said.

“We wouldn’t be able to do the events or half the behind-the-scenes stuff without volunteers.”

Volunteers who donate time and talents at the Murrell Home are mostly people who like local history and want to help the community, Pritchett said.

Other agencies and nonprofits are currently seeking volunteers as well.

Carter Healthcare and Hospice needs volunteers to help provide compassionate and friendly care for patients. Appropriate training will be provided. For more information, call Mary Pat Rosenthal at (918) 458-0663.

Habitat for Humanity always accepts volunteers to help build and refurbish homes for low-income area residents. For information, call Executive Director Linda Cheatham at (918) 453-1332.

Tell us about it

Do you know a local volunteer who deserves to be profiled for his or her efforts? Contact Renee Fite at renee_fite@ yahoo.com with contact information.

Text Only
  • sg-Paperbacks.jpg Paperbacks still survive in the digital age

    In an era when mobile technology is always at hand, most people can access an electronic book at any time. Such literary luxuries weren’t widely available to previous generations until the dawn of the paperback book.
    Wednesday, July 30, is set as a day to celebrate the low-cost, portable book during National Paperback Book Day.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • renee-storyteller.jpg Cherokee, Tlingit storytellers to share their craft during special NSU event

    Two Native American cultures will be represented during a storytelling workshop featuring Cherokee Gayle Ross and Tlingit and Cherokee dancer and storyteller Gene Tagaban, of Seattle.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1-ts CN opt 1.jpg Cherokees commemorate Act of Union

    Cherokee Nation dignitaries met on the historic courthouse square Tuesday to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Act of Union following the end of the Trail of Tears Removal.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-vol-July.jpg Firefighting fills a big role for Kimble

    Community service is both work and volunteering for Cherokee County 911 Coordinator/Director Marty A. Kimble.
    Kimble is also fire chief for Gideon Volunteer Fire and Rescue, president of the Grand View School Board, and northeast regional vice president of OklaNENA (National Emergency Number Association).

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites