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2021 Volunteers of the Year Announced

Recent News | May 17, 2021

Graphic thanking National Church Residence's 2021 Volunteers of the Year

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

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

“The pandemic presented so many challenges, especially since we had to close our buildings to outside volunteers,” said Michelle Norris, executive vice president of external affairs and strategic initiatives for National Church Residences. “Our dedicated volunteers creatively found ways to reach and support our seniors despite the impact of COVID-19.”

2021 Volunteer Organization of the Year

Seeds of Caring
Seeds of Caring is a Central Ohio non-profit providing families and their children ages 2 to 12 with meaningful opportunities to engage in service, social action and community building. Prior to the pandemic, Seeds of Caring was responsible for setting up a carnival for adult day participants at the Centers for Senior Health North Center. Seeds of Caring Founder and Executive Director, Brandy Jemczura, reached out to National Church Residences early in the pandemic about engaging with residents by sending notes, cards and drawings. Last fall, the organization launched their Holiday Cheer program, providing holiday notes and cards to more than 30 of National Church Residences communities across Ohio.

2021 Volunteers of the Year

Joretta Thompson
Joretta Thompson has been living and volunteering at Twin Oaks Plaza in Oak Hill, West Virginia for 18 years, assisting the frailest residents, running bingo, delivering meals, bringing supplies from local food banks, serving in the community’s resident association and giving her time wherever she is needed. In the words of her nominator, Thompson is “the epitome of a generous heart.”

Heather Keener
Heather Keener began her connection with National Church Residences as a student social work intern in the Benefits Enrollment Center in fall 2020 and quickly showed her commitment to the work of the organization as a volunteer there and at Poindexter Village in Columbus, Ohio. Keener was recognized for her passion and (in the words of her nominator) “contagious energy.”

Dale Schuler
Serving as a volunteer chaplain at Stafford Village in Worthington, Ohio since 2017, Dale Schuler was recognized as an “Extraordinary Volunteer in an Extraordinary Year” for exemplifying exceptional volunteer efforts during this time of COVID-19. Schuler helped assure that residents had working phones and televisions with cable, kept in regular touch remotely and prepared a home-cooked chicken dinner for all residents which he delivered to their doors with freshly picked flower bouquets.


This was the ninth year the Foundation has recognized the organization’s most dedicated volunteers. If you have a passion for serving and would like to learn more about volunteering with National Church Residences, visit NationalChurchResidences.org/volunteer or call 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, 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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National Church Residences does not discriminate against individuals based on race, color, disability, familial status, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, payment source, or any other class protected by applicable law, whether in employment or its activities, programs, or services. National Church Residences also does not discriminate based on age, except as required by government entitlements or permitted by applicable law for seniors.