Gwen Wallace says that volunteering gives her physical and emotional health.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Central Oklahoma volunteer Gwen Wallace said her volunteering began in 2008 after watching television and seeing Hurricane Gustav evacuees from Louisiana get off a bus in Oklahoma City where they would live in a Red Cross shelter.
“I had just retired from the school system and had a year of doing nothing,” the Oklahoma City resident explained. “I saw these people getting off the bus with nothing in their hands. My friend and I jumped in with the Red Cross doing volunteer work.”
Once their volunteer work ended with Red Cross, they asked, “What can we do now?”
That started a long relationship with the Mobile Meals program at her church in Spencer, St. Luke’s Baptist, an RSVP partner, as well as with other Mobile Meals programs in the Spencer area.
“This volunteer program helps me deal with serious life disruptions,” Gwen said. “I lost my sister and then eight days later, my granddaughter died suddenly. Being able to help others took that sense of loss and gives me a sense of pride.”
Gwen, who is 78, said that volunteering also gives her physical and emotional health.
“When you don’t move those joints, they start getting rusty,” she said. “I get up, volunteer at least three days a week, help with the prepping, and I really love developing relationships with my clients and other Mobile Meals workers. It gives me a sense of contentment in my life and helps me release the stresses, anxieties, and depressions that sometimes comes with older age.”
Since 1973, RSVP of Central Oklahoma has helped older adults 55+ continue to live with purpose and meaning by connecting them with rewarding community volunteer opportunities. RSVP is a partner of AmeriCorps Seniors and the United Way of Central Oklahoma. To learn more about becoming a volunteer, call Laura McRaniels at 405.605.3110 or visit You can also follow RSVP on Facebook at: