Earlsboro woman wins top AARP award.

Earlsboro resident Phyllis Crosswell’s dedication to helping make life better for others was recognized as she was named the recipient of the 2013 AARP Oklahoma Andrus Award for Community Service.

The award – the highest given by AARP – was presented at a luncheon held in Oklahoma City. Crosswell was one of seven nominees for the honor.

“Phyllis Crosswell is a living example of AARP’s vision in which everyone ages with dignity and purpose,” said AARP Oklahoma State President Marjorie Lyons. “Her passion to help others live a more fulfilling life is inspiring, tireless and infectious.”

Over the past 30 years, Crosswell has dedicated her time, talent and uplifting spirit to local and state organizations including, the AARP Shawnee Chapter – of which she currently serves as president, Lyons said. Crosswell is also an active volunteer at the Shawnee Senior Center, RSVP of Pottawatomie County, Meals on Wheels, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Oklahoma, Heartland Hospice of Shawnee and Immanuel Baptist Church. In addition, she has served 18 years on the Earlsboro School Board.

Crosswell, a native of England who is now a proud Oklahoman, says she was taught the importance of volunteering by her mother and father and first started at the age of 12.

“I believe that you should volunteer and give your time because God has given His time to you and if you do that, you’re a better person and you’ll get rewarded more than anybody can image,” she said.

“If everyone would just volunteer an hour a week, look what this country would be made of. My mother taught me as a very young girl to give of myself and always said, ‘nobody owes you nothing, give everything to God’ and I want to continue doing what I’m doing until the day I’ve gone to be with the Lord.”

In particular, she said working with hospice patients gives her inspiration and she hopes to continue working to help children as a member of the Earlsboro School Board.