"What is the essence of life? 
To serve others and to do good." -Aristotle

Dating back 2,300 years, this Aristotelian Philosophy is proof that giving back to the community is hardly a new concept.
Today, volunteering is still a noble act that has a profoundly positive impact on the world around us - from your own backyard to across the globe - and represents the best in all of us.

At the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, we send our heartfelt thanks to our amazing volunteers:
corporations, organizations, churches, and schools.

Thank you for your time, dedication, energy, and resources to feeding the hungry.
We honor you for supporting our mission to end food insecurity for our neighbors in eastern Oklahoma!

2020 Heart + Hand Volunteer Honorees

Kenneth Baker
The Masalene Jackson Volunteer of the Year

As the first Volunteer of the Year Award Honoree in 2019, Masalene Jackson set a Himalayan precedent for others to follow. Ken Baker does exactly that. As a core member of the weekly Whippersnappers, mature volunteers helping Oklahomans who struggle with food insecurity, Ken remains a loyal and dependable volunteer. Ken concedes he has lived a good life. As a person of deep faith, he said, “I love to help people. I’m just giving back what God gave to me.” His positive outlook, quick smile, and sparkling eyes create an infectiously positive environment around him. In his time at the Food Bank, Ken has volunteered well over 1,000 hours. It doesn’t matter what or where needs exist; Ken will eagerly raise his hand. Last summer he was a regular volunteer through the hot, sticky Oklahoma summer to make sure children had enough to eat. During times when medical issues prevented him from driving, Ken secured a ride to make sure he assisted where he could. Fully immersed through his work years, Kenneth Baker now commits himself fully to make sure Oklahomans have the food they need. He is our Volunteer of the Year.

“It’s a wonderful experience to get to come out here and help. The idea of the Food Bank taking time to give hungry people something to eat. Well, it’s a good place to be.” -Kenneth Baker, Masalene Jackson Volunteer of the Year

National Charity League, Tulsa Midtown Chapter
Volunteer Organization of the Year

Developing strong women leaders, encouraging charitable endeavors, and fostering mother-daughter relationships, the Tulsa Midtown Chapter of National Charity League is a vibrant part of our community. Assisting with the Summer Feeding programs is a foundational commitment to the Food Bank for NCL. For the last several years, NCL mothers and daughters spent four days a week each summer preparing thousands of meals and helped last summer’s program grow 117 percent. Additionally, in partnership with the Greater Tulsa Chapter, they hosted a Fund and Food Drive in response to the May flooding. NCL volunteers served an amazing 1,280 volunteer hours last year.

Amber Thompson
Culinary Volunteer of the Year

A retired CPA from the oil and gas industry, now a consistent, detail-oriented volunteer, Amber spends each Tuesday as an integral part of the Food Bank’s culinary team. For over six years Amber consistently takes her place in her own section of the kitchen where she works alongside the five full-time Food Bank chefs. Her pet project is planning and preparing evening meals for “her ladies,” the women in Resonance and Women in Recovery programs. At the end of her shift, she unceremoniously takes her knife and stores it until the following week. One of Amber’s high points was attending Women in Recovery’s annual participant celebration, knowing she helped support their success.

Mabrey Bank
Corporate Volunteer Group of the Year

The traditional host of the Empty Bowls and Giving Spirits registration areas, Mabrey Bank’s crisp volunteers led by Rhonda Bailey, bring stability, experience, and expertise to the annual fundraising events. Rhonda’s team of 20 employees manage the entire check-in and check-out process. Both events draw large crowds and require keen attention to detail. They typically prepare weeks ahead of the events, they arrive early and with positive attitudes, willing to help with anything needed. The consistent presence of Mabrey Bank at Food Bank events allows organizers to breathe easier, focus on the patron experience, and deliver successful fundraising events that benefit our community.

Heart + Hand Volunteer Recognition Week

The Food Bank was set to host our annual volunteer recognition lunch. COVID-19 health and safety concerns, along with public gathering restrictions, meant those plans needed amending. No matter the impact of our current situation, nothing can diminish the significant contributions of several individuals and groups. Their commitment led to so many Oklahoma children, seniors, veterans, and families having much needed food on their tables. The devotion of these fine people deserves recognition now more than ever.

We're thrilled to announce that the Dolese Company will match donations made to Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma marked "volunteer." Please consider honoring a volunteer today.

Last year more than 12,000 volunteers gave 69,000 hours of service. Those volunteers saved the Food Bank over $1.6 million in operation expenses which were directed into feeding more people in need.

Click here for more information on volunteering, or to schedule a time in our Volunteer Center.