RSVP of Central Oklahoma Executive Director Beth Patterson.

Organization Celebrates National Volunteer Week, April 17-22

Vera Aldaz says volunteering has taught her that there are a lot of people who need help and there are many people who would like to provide the help but don’t know where to begin.
She and her husband, Abel, found their way to give back 17 years ago through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Central Oklahoma. Abel had retired and discovered how RSVP connects volunteers to many nonprofit partner agencies in the community.
“He said he’d found something we would both love and he was right. We do!” she said.
As a couple, they’ve stuffed envelopes for organizations, served as test proctors in elementary schools, participated in neighborhood association food drives, worked at the Arts Festival, and the library’s summer reading program, to name a few.
Vera’s favorite is volunteering with the mobile meals program at St. Matthew United Methodist Church, Midwest City. (story continues below)


“The people who work there are so generous with their time, and the people that we deliver meals to are so grateful not only for the meal but for the blessing of having someone to care about them and visit with them.”
During the pandemic when volunteering was put on hold temporarily, Vera worried about the people she delivered meals to weekly.
“I really missed the time when we could go visit those who were alone and not able to go out and be with others,” she said. “There continues to be the need for just a friendly wave through the window to brighten our spirits.”
Vera believes volunteers do some of the most important jobs, and many are jobs that organizations couldn’t afford to pay someone to do and jobs that bring volunteers so much joy.
“If I were to sum up the beauty of volunteering, it would simply be: It’s fun and satisfying,” she said.
Because of our passionate volunteers, the lives of people in our community are improved, said RSVP of Central Oklahoma Executive Director Beth Patterson.
“We celebrate our volunteers every day but want to encourage our community during National Volunteer Week to honor the role volunteers play in strengthening our communities. Let them know that what they do is appreciated, necessary, and helps make our community a better place for so many,” Patterson said.
Even during the pandemic, more than 200 RSVP volunteers like Vera Aldaz, age 55+, served 51 nonprofits in the community, logging more than 35,000 hours of their time. Volunteers tutor children in school classrooms, churches, and at City Care’s Whiz Kids. They serve the community’s most vulnerable citizens through Project 66, Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Provide-A-Ride Senior Transportation System, and the Homeless Alliance, as well as helping in hospitals, senior centers, and libraries. Volunteers and local nonprofits both benefit from the relationship, allowing volunteers to stay connected in their communities and providing nonprofit partners with reliable, experienced seniors.