CHOCTAW, Okla. (KFOR) – A few dozen seniors have chosen to spend their golden years at Bent Oak Apartments.

It is a lovely community nestled in a quiet corner of Eastern Oklahoma County.

Anita Gunter is a resident.

She nominated April Wooten because of all the ways April has invested in the residents.

Wooten is the community health worker at Bent Oak, which means she helps the residents with their heathcare choices.

She helps them find doctors, make appointments, fill out healthcare paperwork and navigate a healthcare system that can be confusing for older Oklahomans.

“She really cares for the residents,” said Service Coordinator, Rick Levingston. “She really listens to them. She takes the time and that really helps the residents to know that she’s actually there for them.”

Wooten has only been at Bent Oak about a year.

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April Wooten, image KFOR

She has spent that time forming a fitness club, leading a morning walk club and organizing several other wellness initiatives at Bent Oak Village.

Also, Wooten struck up a partnership with a nearby church to provide a Sunday service on the property, and a van to take the seniors shopping.

Pam Bollman of First Fidelity Bank brought the $400, and Anita concocted a cover story.

Wooten thinks a board member from the property management group, non-profit Volunteers of America, is coming to Bent Oak for a meeting.

According to the VP Director of Housing, Laura Rubidoux, Wooten and Bent Oak were prepared for a very special guest, when Ali Meyer and the Pay It 4ward team walked in.

“I think it’s wonderful that they would spruce up and be excited about a board member,” Rubidoux said.

“She’s there for us because she loves us,” said resident Alice Salinas.

“She has a good attitude,” said Kelli Hoofman. “She comes in here and she doesn’t mind helping people at all.”

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April Wooten walking with residents of Bent Oak Apartments. Image KFOR

April Wooten was shocked by the Pay It 4ward honor. “Thank you. I love you all very much. I like to make sure y’all are taken care of.”

“She does everything for all of us,” said resident Betty Phillips. “She’s quite a woman.”

April Wooten started at Bent Oak during the height of the pandemic.

Her top priority was protecting the seniors from the deadly virus.

Since she started working as the community health coordinator, they’ve only had one case of COVID-19 at Bent Oak Village.

“We’ve done really good to keep it out of our community,” she said. “I love my little people here. I will do whatever they need.”

Wooten loves this gig. She believes it isn’t a job, when you love what you do.

“Every day is a new day. There is no two days that are the same.”

She has already decided to spend her $400 on the residents.