Dorothy Wackler has been named Cross Timbers Volunteer of the Year. The longtime volunteer was presented the award April 11 during a Cross Timbers cookout honoring the hospice’s volunteers and staff. The event was in recognition of National Volunteer Week.

Wackler joined the Cross Timbers Hospice volunteer team in 2008, and has since given many hours behind the scenes performing important tasks in the office, such as data entry, filing, shredding, copying and whatever else is needed. She has also devoted much of her time to helping with special projects, such as sending birthday cards and cards of encouragement to staff and patients.

On her original volunteer application, when asked if she had any special skills or experience that would help the volunteer program, Wackler answered, “I love people. I am able to look beyond the now to what people were or hope to be.”

In addition to her volunteer hours at Cross Timbers, Wackler has also volunteered for several other community organizations through the years. She and her husband, the Reverend John Wackler, live in Ardmore.

Wackler is one of the 62 volunteers, including 10 board members, currently donating their time, talents and skills to Cross Timbers. In 2013, volunteers donated a total of 1,545 hours of dedicated service to the hospice.

Shelly Murray, Cross Timbers volunteer coordinator, called the organization’s volunteers a “integral part” of the care Cross Timbers provides patients.

“We know that without our volunteers, we could not provide the quality of care that we provide.” Murray said. “Hospice volunteers give their time and their heart unselfishly. There is no greater gift.”

She described the dedicated group as “... highly trained and motivated volunteers that assist on a daily basis.”

Cross Timbers was organized in 1981 as a non-profit organization to provide comfort and emotional support for terminally ill citizens of south central Oklahoma. Anyone interested in learning more about the volunteer program should call Murray at (580) 223-0655 or (800) 498-0655.