Volunteer of the Year awarded for service to the elderly
|From left to right: David Nasser, senior vice president for spiritual development; Anna Cooper, this year's Christian Community Service Volunteer of the Year Award winner; Christy Crisco, activity director at Spring Arbor of Albermarle Assisted Living; and Lew Weider, director of the Center for Christian/Community Service.|
Anna Cooper was awarded this year's Christian/Community Service (CSER) Volunteer of the Year Award during Liberty University’s Convocation on Friday. The award is presented annually to a student who demonstrates Liberty’s mission to serve others and glorify God within the community.
A plaque, given on behalf of Liberty’s CSER Office, recognized Cooper’s two years of service at Spring Arbor of Albemarle Assisted Living in Albemarle, N.C.
While at her CSER placement, Cooper started a Bible study and implemented other activities for the elderly.
“Although many students go above and beyond serving through CSER, Anna is a special young woman whose service we are recognizing today,” said Lew Weider, director of the Center for Christian/Community Service.
Christy Crisco, activity director at Spring Arbor of Albemarle Assisted Living, nominated Cooper for the award.
“It did not matter what was asked of Anna, she was always there,” Crisco told the Convocation crowd. “She did it cheerfully, lovingly, and always with a smile. She brought a joy and a young spirit with her each day that she came. The residents would look forward to when Anna was coming.”
Crisco added that she had other volunteers, but Anna was the only one who would come back and serve on holidays and weekends.
“She always went out of her way, above and beyond, to do whatever she could, not for me, but for the people there that she has grown to love,” she said. “She was God's volunteer.”
Liberty’s Office of Alumni Relations also awarded Cooper a $5,000 scholarship to use during her senior year of nursing school. (As their senior gift, the Class of 2016 is raising funds to go toward the scholarship.)
Liberty students volunteer more than 300,000 community service hours each year. While students are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of Christian service each semester during their sophomore, junior, and senior years, many go above and beyond that through other service opportunities offered by Liberty.
This Saturday, 150 students participating in Liberty’s Community Care Initiative (CCI) will travel to Appomattox (about 30 minutes from campus) to help clean up areas affected by February’s tornado devastation. The program focuses on meeting the short-term, immediate needs of the community. On April 16, CCI held Love on Lynchburg Day, where 213 volunteers worked at a community center garden, local parks, and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Lynchburg.