When people retire, some plan to make a difference as volunteers.
A volunteer might work one morning a week or one morning a month. Some even view it as their patriotic duty.
Sueann Freeman, who recently retired after 43 years of teaching, planned to volunteer at three places: Tahlequah City Hospital, the CARE Food Pantry and Feed My Sheep, which hubs at the First United Methodist Church.
“It’s something I wanted to do for me, for personal satisfaction,” Freeman said.
She started volunteering in February.
“I don’t have to get up at 6 in the morning anymore,” Freeman said.
Her daughter, Heather Foster, works at TCH as supervisor of centralized scheduling, and Freeman wanted to join the hospital auxiliary. She enjoys meeting and visiting with people.
Volunteers work half a day at a time, she said.
“It’s a chance to have my Starbucks fix every week,” Freeman said, smiling.
Freeman worked in a variety of schools before finding her niche at Talking Leaves Job Corps, where she spent 30-1/2 years.
“The students were needing something, someone to listen to them,” she said.
She found out quickly the stories she’d heard – that the kids were mean – weren’t true.
“I didn’t find that at all,” Freeman said. “I spend 30 years telling people they needed to get to know the students. In any school, there are good ones and bad ones and those in between. I was able to make a difference.”
When she opens up the TCH gift shop Friday mornings, she looks around to see what needs to be done and what’s new.
“This morning, I put out candy. We have probably the best selection in town of candy,” she said.
To be a volunteer at TCH, a person has to fill out an application. There are three areas in the hospital to volunteer: surgery waiting, admissions and the gift shop. Auxiliary members also volunteer at Remarkables downtown.
“We need volunteers,” Freeman said. “Volunteers need good people skills, are helpful, patient, smile and are ready to work.”
The last Monday of each month, she volunteers at the CARE Food Pantry because that’s the busiest week. She fills orders when people come in and takes the sacks out to them. And she helps with sack lunches.
“They need help, too,” she said.
At Feed My Sheep, held at the First United Methodist Church, she serves meals every Thursday at 6 p.m., and makes dessert when asked.
“Weekly the same people are repeats; they come every Thursday night,” Freeman said.
Volunteering keeps you busy and connected to the outside world, she said.
“Everybody needs a reason to get out, get up and get dressed,” she said.
When people retire, some plan to make a difference as volunteers.
Gasoline giveaway winner
Grady Jolliff was the winner of the $300 gasoline giveaway.
Stevens sharing love of God by volunteering
Ben Stevens said his wife, Karrel, first signed him up to volunteer, but he continues as a way to share the love of God.
“I volunteer because I see it as a way to give back, to share your own good fortune with others, to be part of the local and world community. In short, it is sharing God’s love,” Stevens said. “God provides the love, but we humans can provide the action to spread it.”
For three years, he’s been volunteering with Feed My Sheep, the ecumenical weekly meal, and Help-In-Crisis, doing shelter minor maintenance and the Walk-A-Mile fundraiser. He also serves on various church committees, and participates in activities to support church programs, such as youth, missions and maintenance, at First United Methodist.
Local coach involved in ID process for WWII soldier
An unusual name could lead to the identification of the remains of a World War II soldier, Norman Lloyd Miller, who was killed in action more than 70 years ago in New Guinea.
Earl Miller and Jim Miller, nephews of the soldier, and other members of the Miller family in the Joplin area learned of the development a couple of days before Thanksgiving. That’s when their brother, Elzy Miller, of Tahlequah, was contacted by a federally funded search firm that was looking for surviving members of Norman Miller’s family.
Cloth diaper exchange a boon for moms
Though disposable diapers may be far more convenient, a growing number of parents these days are choosing cloth diapers not just to save money, but for the comfort of their babies.
A local mom has started a cloth diaper-lending program and Facebook support group, PoofyPantsDiaperLendingProgram. She also has an online support group called, “Poopsmiths Anonymous of Tahlequah.”
Claremore, Grove ring in the holidays with seasonal treats
As the holiday season gets into full swing, those who enjoy short road trips have plenty of options when it comes to seasonal activities.
Local artist goes digital with OU logos
A traditional artist by desire and training, Buffalo Gauge turned an eye toward the electronic future and graphic design.
With everything going digital, Gauge wanted to see how his love of painting would translate onto the screen. He was skeptical at first of the medium many people relate to as computer drawing, but soon realized his talent translated well into the digital language.
“The creative process is the same as traditional; you have to think it out or it won’t work,” Gouge said. “You have layers you have to keep in order for the image to come together.”
A project he’s tinkered with while enrolled in the Graphics Communications program at Indian Capitol Technology Center has the potential of gaining popularity and commercial success. The geometric shape of the letters on many University of Oklahoma logo designs seemed ideal for native designs.
Area cities set holiday calendars
Cherokee County boasts its share of holiday events, but for those looking to travel farther afield to enjoy music, light displays and other seasonal fare, Green Country has a packed calendar.
Thanksgiving traditions vary across the United States, and sometimes across the street. But the memories made each year come up in conversations time and again, as family and friends gather to celebrate.
Favorite foods often boast cultural family flavors, from coastal seafood to Native American roots.
Freese growing with CUMC congregation
Rudy Freese likes to try new things, and he’s willing to grow with his congregation. That’s why he enjoys being a pastor so much.
For 2-1/2 years, Freese has led the flock at Cookson United Methodist. He’s served at Quinton UMC, Canadian UMC and Leonard UMC.
“We are appointed by the bishop, but Cookson’s love for each other and acceptance of new people is a wonderful church trait,” said Freese, who holds a Master’s in Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary.
Tour of Homes brings holiday cheer
For those dreaming of a white Christmas or a dream home, inspiration will be on display next month during the American Association for University Women’s annual Tour of Homes.
Each year, hundreds of people come from Tulsa and beyond to join with locals in picking up a map and touring select homes beautifully decorated for the holidays. This will be the 32nd year for the event.
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