Earlsboro resident Phyllis Crosswell's dedication to helping make life better for others was recognized as she was named the recipient of the 2013 AARP Oklahoma Andrus Award for Community Service.
The award — the highest given by AARP — was presented at a luncheon in Oklahoma City. Crosswell was one of seven nominees for the honor.
“Phyllis Crosswell is a living example of AARP's vision in which everyone ages with dignity and purpose,” said AARP Oklahoma State President Marjorie Lyons. “Her passion to help others live a more fulfilling life is inspiring, tireless and infectious.”
Over the past 30 years, Crosswell has dedicated her time, talent and uplifting spirit to local and state organizations including the AARP Shawnee Chapter — which she serves as president, Lyons said.
Crosswell is also a volunteer at the Shawnee Senior Center, RSVP of Pottawatomie County, Meals on Wheels, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Oklahoma, Heartland Hospice of Shawnee and Immanuel Baptist Church. She has served 18 years on the Earlsboro school board.
Crosswell, a native of England, says she was taught the importance of volunteering by her mother and father and first started at the age of 12.
“I believe that you should volunteer and give your time because God has given His time to you and if you do that, you're a better person and you'll get a reward more than anybody can image,” she said. “If everyone would just volunteer an hour a week, look what this country would be made of.”
In particular, she said, working with hospice patients gives her inspiration.
Other Andrus Award nominees were Grace Dempsey, of Altus; Wanda Evans, of Afton; David Franklin, of Stillwater; Bill Hill, of Tulsa; Maryann Morris, of Arapaho and Karen Pendergraft, of Blackwell.
Craig E. Davis is associate state director of AARP Oklahoma