EDMOND — A note next to Jimmie Cook's computer helps keep her going every day. It's a quote from George Bernard Shaw: “I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can … for the harder I work the more I live.”
Those words give her inspiration to stay active and serve others. A retired Oklahoma State University professor, she was a longtime tour guide at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa and the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. Now she volunteers at the Oklahoma Governor's Mansion after moving to Touchmark at Coffee Creek in Edmond.
Cook credits her love of volunteerism to living in a small town for many years. She saw Drumright go from being an oil boom town of 23,000 to a community of only 3,500. She is proud of the 16 murals in Drumright that depict Oklahoma history.
“We learned to get acquainted quickly, and we also learned to jump in to do things that needed to be done,” she said.
Cook's neighbor, John Wayant, also is a longtime volunteer.
It is hard to catch Wayant not busy as he spends many days and evenings visiting the frail, helping at his church and participating monthly in a community meal at First Presbyterian Church of Edmond.
He also exercises at the YMCA and is involved in a weekly men's Bible study and faith-renewal group. An avid OSU fan, he attends many of the school's sporting events.
“I feel like I have a calling to be a servant, serve, please and help others and be a follower of Jesus,” he said.
The turning point for this realization was when he became a deacon and started making hospital calls.
“All my life, I've waited on and called on people and interacted with them.”
Dawn Shelton is with Carol Hartzog Communications.