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VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR: Tulsa woman gives back to food bank for 10 years

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Posted at 1:44 PM, Jun 18, 2024

TULSA, Okla. — It’s a full-circle experience for one Tulsa woman who gives back to the organization instrumental in her life while she raised her kids.

Flora Burris has spent the last decade volunteering at the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

“It’s been amazing to me to be a partner of volunteering here,” said Flora Burris.

Every week, on Tuesday and Thursday, Flora Burris spends her morning hours at the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. At 82 years young, it’s a retirement project that means the world to her.

“I do anything that is asked of me,” said Burris.

Volunteering is personal for her in more ways than one. When she raised her seven children, she often sought help at the food bank.

‘It was very hard,” said Burris. “Times were tough for me. I worked hard but it wasn’t enough.”

She knows firsthand how food insecurity feels.

“You don’t get as much for a dollar,” said Burris. “You don’t get as much for $100.”

Now, it’s important to her to help in any way she can. “I tell you what, I wouldn’t be nowhere else,” said Burris.

“Miss Flora is amazing,” said Jeff Marlow.

Marlow is the CEO of the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. He said Burris brings so much energy and a great attitude to her volunteer work. He said it’s volunteers like her that really make the non-profit run.

“We couldn’t do it without our amazing volunteers,” said Marlow.

Marlow said more than 10,000 volunteers come through their doors every year and the work saves them more than $1 million annually.

“As a non-profit, putting all the food back into the community is huge,” said Marlow.

The food bank honors the people who help, and Burris received their top award, Volunteer of the Year, in May. Her family was by her side to help her celebrate.

“That’s what the food bank brings,” said Marlow. “We’re family. We bring that support to the people that need it.”

Burris said her work at the food bank isn’t stopping anytime soon. “I just hope and pray that I can be here for some more years,” said Burris.

If you’re interested in volunteering, click here.


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