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.
Padilla enjoys reconnecting with childhood
As a child spending time at her grandparents’ house, with all her aunts, uncles, and cousins around her, Kerrie (Bosley) Padilla spent endless hours outside playing chase, catching fireflies, or writing and acting out plays.
In 1987, after her dad got out of the Navy, the family moved here from Georgia to be closer to that family: matriarch Dorothy Monzingo, and maternal grandparents Dorothy and Dwight Allen. Her parents, DeAnna and Steve Edwards – as well as a couple of siblings and some aunts, uncles and cousins – still live here.
Eventually, Padilla graduated from Northeastern State University, and then its College of Optometry.
Dream Theatre spotlights songwriters
Dreams can come true for local aspiring songwriters who seek to gain performance experience.
For one young musician, Thursday night was an unexpected dream of discovery, as well.
Two opportunities are available to musicians at the Dream Theatre each month, the new Songwriters’ Showcase which opened Thursday night and Premier Night for musicians who have a few songs or a set, but not a whole show.
In search of the groove that works for The Dream, Manager Larry Clark is partnering with Blake Turner, Lakes Country operation manager.
The Songwriters’ Showcase, which will continue the third Thursday of the month in conjunction with Tahlequah Main Street Association’s Third Thursday Art Walk downtown, features seasoned performers who can share some of their personal insights into the how, when and why of their songwriting experiences.
Dream, Brewdog’s to host music festivals
One sign of spring’s arrival is the scheduling of music festivals, and 10 bands will visit a Tahlequah venue May 24, the Saturday before Memorial Day.
Conference attendees get words of encouragement
Words of encouragement and door prizes were bountiful Saturday morning at the annual Zoë Institute’s Women’s Conference.
Ten women shared words of wisdom in areas from happiness to health, and 100 gifts were given out, including the grand prize of gasoline for a year.
Panelists discuss impact of Southeastern art
Until recently, most people had a certain expectation of American Indian art – and it didn’t include images familiar to people in and around Cherokee County.
“A lot of times, when people think about Native art, they immediately think of Plains art or Southwestern art,” said Roy Boney (Cherokee), Tahlequah artist and moderator of the panel discussion “Southeastern Indian Art: Building Community and Raising Awareness,” held Friday, April 11, at the NSU Symposium on the American Indian.
Boney and the other panelists are frustrated by the divide between mainstream expectations of Native American art and their need for genuine self-expression.
Dickerson believes in putting the student first
As a child growing up in Elk City, Cherokee Elementary teacher Debra Dickerson lined up the neighborhood children and animals to play school.
“I’ve been a teacher ever since I could talk. My mother always said she knew where I was because she could hear me bossing everyone,” she said.
The classroom then was a blanket tossed over limbs of her big cherry tree on Eisenhower Street. Recess was spent tree-climbing, running, riding in the bus (her red wagon) and being creative.
“Those were the days before video games and TV,” she said.
Dickerson, 2013-’14 Cherokee Elementary Teacher of the Year, believes a classroom should be a safe haven for children, because school is often the best part of their day.
Cleaning things up
Lowrey was part of the Cherokee Nation’s Career Service Center contingency of 11 volunteers. Other volunteers cleaned up trash along the roadway from the Cherokee Casino to the NSU campus.
Right to privacy leans partly on Article 9
While the other articles of the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights are straightforward – at least, enough for Americans to bicker over in court – the Ninth Amendment might cause a bit of confusion.
It reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
There are no rights enumerated, and it might be difficult to argue one’s Ninth Amendment rights in court, though it has been done successfully.
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society and Native American Student Associationat Northeastern State University hosted a traditional stickball game as part of closing cultural activities during the 42nd annual Symposium on the American Indian Friday. Participants included, from left: Nathan Wolf, Disosdi Elk and Chris Smith.
City council to discuss ‘green building’
Tahlequah City Council will hold a special meeting Friday, April 11, at 5:30 p.m. to discuss, among other items, applying grant money to renovate the city’s “green building” at the corner of Water and Morgan, near Norris Park.
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