In the town of Wanette, Oklahoma, most people know Jim Buxton. After all, he’s served the small town of 400 as the chief of police, water superintendent and dog catcher—and currently serves as mayor. But it’s the responsibility that Jim, his wife and his mother-in-law have taken on together that has made the biggest difference. Jim, his wife Wanda, and Wanda’s mother Chloe Rippy are all Mentors with Oklahoma MENTOR. Between them they care for three individuals with complex medical and behavioral needs. Although they live in separate homes, they share a backyard, a fence and all the rewards and challenges of nurturing these special young men. To this team, it’s all just part of being a family. Jim, Wanda and Chloe take great pride in the accomplishments of the boys in their care, like offering a hug to someone new, or completing tasks that once posed a great challenge.
The 2007 Ripple of Hope Award Winners were honored on November 13, 2007 at Boston’s historic Fenway Park.