Our History

Our Name

The name Volunteers of America was selected when the organization was founded over 100 years ago. It signified that the organization was comprised of people voluntarily choosing to help others. When Maud and Ballington Booth thought of names for their new organization, one word remained prominent: "volunteer.” In those days, a volunteer was anyone who was committed to a mission or cause. Since its earliest days, when Volunteers of America brought food, medicine and comfort to people not served by other charities, volunteering has been instrumental in every aspect of the organization's ministry of service. Our services are now delivered through a partnership of professional staff, volunteers and other community supporters.

Volunteers of America currently operates programs that serve abused and neglected children, homeless individuals and families, senior citizens, youth at risk, people with developmental and physical disabilities, and many others. Every year, over two million people across the nation feel the helping hand and compassion of Volunteers of America.

Our History in Oklahoma

Riding shotgun on turn-of-the century stagecoaches isn’t the kind of activity that springs to mind when you think of human service. However, according to some old publications, protecting stagecoach drivers and passengers was one of the services that the early Volunteers of America performed in Oklahoma. The organization had a presence here when the state was still part of Indian Territory in the early 1900s.

The belief that local people know best how to serve local needs is a philosophy to which Volunteers of America remains true. From the Tulsa headquarters, Volunteers of America Oklahoma has expanded services and community outreach to our five other locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Bartlesville, Muskogee and Bernice.
 
Volunteers of America Oklahoma provides affordable housing and vocational services to those with developmental disabilities, with specialized residential care for individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome. Volunteers of America serves the homeless population of Oklahoma by helping individuals in obtaining permanent supportive housing and assisting those individuals with managing their income through our Payee Services Program. 
 
Volunteers of America Oklahoma also helps senior citizens through a variety of programs. We provide affordable housing for low-income seniors in the Oklahoma City, Kingfisher, Choctaw and Broken Arrow areas and in Kansas. The Advantage program offers case management services to elderly persons living in their own homes and supported by Medicaid to ensure their medical needs are met. Our Muskogee office’s RSVP program provides people over 55 with opportunities to volunteer in their community.
 
Volunteers of America Oklahoma’s Family Services provides outpatient counseling for children, adolescents and adults. Sessions can take place both in the home and at the Family Services Office in Tulsa. Both daytime and evening appointments are available.

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