Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

December 10, 2013

Stevens sharing love of God by volunteering

TAHLEQUAH — 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.

Stevens is retired from Cherokee Elder Care as program director, and he and his wife returned to his hometown 13 years ago.

“My wife, Karrel, served on the board at HIC a few years ago. Osmosis happened. After I retired, our church mission team started organizing the idea of Feed My Sheep with other local churches. It seemed like great way to meet a hunger need in the community and work with other churches,” he said.

As the dining room supervisor, Stevens does some setup and bread pickup the day before the meal.

“[I’m] kind of like a maitre’d, I just execute the superb planning and scheduling that is done by others, and adjust as plans go awry,” he said. “The hard work is done by the 40-plus volunteers who do the cooking, serving, hosting, bussing, dish washing, and cleanup.”

Besides abating hunger, the other purpose of Feed My Sheep is developing community, he said. The restaurant-style service provided has developed new communities between guests, volunteers, and with one another.

“This is great to see and be part of. We have all gained new understandings, new friendships, and met both physical and social needs,” Stevens said. “What a wonderful way to meet people as people, not as some preconceived stereotype. To me, the reward is being part of something that is working for the common good – no hidden agendas, no politics, no ulterior motives, just be a good person among other good people.”

He does what he can for the Help-In-Crisis shelter.

“But unfortunately, their shelter is heavily used, and like any busy facility, maintenance issues arise. Sometimes my limited skills can help,” he said.

Help-In-Crisis can always use food and money donations, he said. A regular and dedicated maintenance group would also help.

Retirement brought time for Stevens to dedicate to volunteering projects.

“When I was working full-time, it was hard to have the time and energy to volunteer when needed. My wife and retired friends were doing lots of volunteer work, so I was familiar with some of the community needs,” Stevens said. “After retiring, it was just a matter of choosing what need I felt best able to make a sustainable contribution.”

Family examples of volunteering were his grandmother, Ida Clark, in Tahlequah and stepmother, Nancy Steveson, who does a lot of volunteer work in Fort Gibson.

“And, of course, my wife volunteers a lot. So whether by osmosis, guilt, or example, volunteering is just part of what you do in life. Everyone needs help at some time,” he said. “Also, Earl and Susie Williams, who continue to volunteer in Tahlequah.”

The value to the community of volunteers is vast.

“How can you be part of a community without helping out when needed? That is what community means: We are in this together, and we all can use some help at times,” he said.

1
Text Only
Features
  • rf-Quilt-1.jpg UKB quilting class touts tribal tradition

    Recently, several women and one man gathered to learn or refresh their sewing skills. They created quilt pieces at the United Keetoowah Band Wellness Center, with instructors Cindy Hair and Ernestine Berry, director of the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Faith-7-29.jpg New opportunity opens door for local pastor

    A unique opportunity for ministry training will begin next year in Tahlequah.
    The River Ministries will be launching The River Training Center, a complete ministry school. The training center will also perform community outreach and sponsor mission trips, all beginning in January 2015.
    The founder of the school, Pastor Brandon Stratton, was raised in Tahlequah and previously pastored Calvary Assembly of God Church.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 22ndAmendment.jpg Presidential terms limited by 22nd Amendment

    The past 30 years have been marked by occasional grumbling from one American political party, and celebration from the other - depending on who occupies the White House - about the disqualification of a president after eight years of service.
    For much of the nation’s history, a presidency could last indefinitely.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

Poll

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

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks