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2019 Volunteers of the Year Announced

Recent News | June 13, 2019


National Church Residences Foundation has chosen its Volunteers of the Year award winners, honoring two individuals and an organization for their service and dedication to our organization, as well as the community.

National Church Residences has more than 2,600 registered volunteers contributing in communities across the country. These volunteers serve in our senior residential communities, including permanent supportive housing, as well as hospice and adult day services at our Centers for Senior Health.

“We are a very lucky organization to have so many outstanding volunteers willing to give their time in our communities and go the extra mile to ensure residents receive the proper care and services they need,” said Jeff Wolf, senior vice president of philanthropy and mission Impact. “I am proud of the work and support this year’s award winners demonstrated in making a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of our residents.”

The awards ceremony was held at the Fawcett Center at The Ohio State University in Columbus.

2019 Volunteer Organization of the Year


Besa is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to connect more people to community service, encouraging others to give back by means of volunteering. The organization, based in Columbus, is led by Matthew Goldstein. More than seven years ago, Besa began providing volunteers at our Centers for Senior Health and over time added Stygler Village, Mill Run and First Community Village to the list of volunteer destinations. Volunteers spend time with our residents making crafts, playing games and providing one-on-one attention. In addition, Besa has included our residents at Stygler Commons in their annual Christmas Adopt-A-Senior program for the past three years and in 2018, included residents at Cherry Blossom, Worthington East and the Commons at Grant.

2019 Volunteers of the Year

Jim Geist

Jim Geist, a resident at Legacy Village in Xenia, Ohio, has been volunteering for more than three years in the Memorial Garden cutting the grass and maintaining the grounds. He started a conversation group with 20 regular participants and routinely provides the topics for the conversations. Geist also spends time with assisted living residents, calling bingo, playing cards and helping with special events.

Debi Smith

Debi Smith, a volunteer at Padua Hills in Wickenburg, Arizona, also serves as a volunteer coordinator at her local church. Smith has coordinated about 730 volunteer hours and has contributed nearly 450 hours of her time volunteering. In addition, she has organized fundraising for patio furniture, a television and emergency safety lights in each apartment, as well as weekly meals from a local restaurant. Smith drives residents to medical appointments, to visit the local animal shelter and calls to “check in” on residents.

This was the eighth year the Foundation has recognized the organization’s most dedicated volunteers. A group of judges consisting of a past Volunteer of the Year winner, a staff member, as well as a community member determined the winners. If you have a passion for serving, please contact us to join our mission at www.NationalChurchResidences.org/volunteer or 800-388-2151.

About National Church Residences

National Church Residences serves more than 42,000 seniors through its array of housing and health care services. The not-for-profit organization is driven by a vision of advancing better living for all seniors, enabling them to remain home for life. With 340 communities in 25 states and Puerto Rico, it is the nation’s largest not-for-profit provider of affordable senior housing and the largest manager of service coordinators. The organization also offers residential senior communities, home and community-based services, as well as permanent supportive housing for the formerly homeless and disabled. For more information, visit us at NationalChurchResidences.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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