Oklahoma City is a charitable city. Last year, the Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Oklahoma City as the seventh most charitable major metropolitan area in the country.
And many of those volunteers come from what journalist Tom Brokaw called “the Greatest Generation,” that group of men and women who survived the Great Depression and World War II.
Thirty-four percent of Oklahoma County residents volunteer regularly, which totals about 220,000 people, said Beth Patterson, executive director of RSVP, or Retired Senior Volunteer Program, which places interested volunteers age 55 and older.
Some of the volunteers are making a difference well into their 90s, including Dottie Lammerts, a founder and active volunteer with Animal Rescue Friends of Nichols Hills, and Faye Flowers, who collects and makes items for those in need.
Statistics show that volunteers are less isolated and have a higher sense of self-worth, Patterson said.
RSVP works with 125 nonprofits to find places for seniors to volunteer, doing activities including working on community gardens, teaching children to read, driving people to doctors' appointments, helping food pantries and more.