Volunteer of the Year
For Pam VanMeter, 2017 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) Volunteer of Year Award winner, volunteerism is an inherited passion with humbling opportunities.
Pam VanMeter, a native of Fayetteville, Ark., started her career at BCBSOK in 1998 in the Medicare group and currently serves as the unit manager for the government programs division. As a pathway to meet new people, she joined professional organizations in Tulsa and became active in BCBSOK employee activities. VanMeter joined the employee group that would become known today as Blue CorpsSM, and started participating in volunteer events.
“It was a great avenue to get to know my fellow coworkers,” said VanMeter. “It not only opened the door to create lasting friendships, but also introduced me to several nonprofit organizations and increased my awareness of the impact they have on our community.”
When VanMeter started at BCBSOK, she was no stranger to volunteering. Giving time and talent is a core value deeply rooted in her family. Her mom and dad were active volunteers with several organizations in Arkansas and set a high standard for following in their footsteps.
“My parents are my life-long role models and encouraged me to volunteer at a young age,” said VanMeter. “I try to remember what they were both like at the age I am now. If I accomplish half of what they did for their community, I know they would be proud.”
She also devotes her time to two young grandchildren. Incorporating her own parents’ values, VanMeter plans to make volunteering a family affair in the future. “It’s important to me that as my grandchildren grow up, they see that even the smallest impact in someone’s life can be such a humbling and rewarding experience.”
My parents are my life-long role models and encouraged me to volunteer at a young age.
VanMeter is an active advocate for LIFE Senior Services, a local nonprofit organization specializing in home and community-based services that promote healthy aging for seniors. LIFE Senior Services also supports family caregivers who play a critical role in helping loved ones continue living at home. As the 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award recipient, VanMeter receives a $1,000 donation to the charity of her choice, LIFE Senior Services.
“I believe seniors are one of the most underserved and often forgotten populations in our community,” VanMeter said. “LIFE Senior Services directly helps more than 28,000 seniors and their families each year. Having quality services for the elderly is a need that continues to grow each year.”
In 2017, VanMeter logged more than 120 volunteer hours with multiple nonprofit organizations in Tulsa. Several organizations she regularly supports include the Salvation Army, LIFE Senior Services, Clarehouse, Tulsa Quilts for Kids, Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association.
VanMeter is also active in the Tulsa running community and has completed 13 marathons along with several half marathons.