United Way names Distinguished Volunteer of the Year

FINDLAY, Ohio (March 17, 2023)  Volunteers United is honored to name Beth Reed its 2022 Jeri Bjorling Distinguished Volunteer of the Year for her tremendous volunteerism supporting United Way of Hancock County and the community.

At UWHC, Reed serves at the highest level as a Volunteer Ambassador, meaning she meets monthly as a member of the Volunteers United Committee, helps plan and host volunteer events, and advocates for the United Way. She has served on the committee for two years.

Reed will be honored for her service at United Way of Hancock County’s Annual Meeting on March 23. Her name and photo will be added to a plaque at the UWHC office, and her story appears in the 2022 UWHC Annual Report and on the UWHC website. Maria Sellers was Volunteer of the Year in 2021.

“Beth has been an amazing asset to the United Way and our Volunteer Center, Volunteers United,” said Angela DeBoskey, CEO of UWHC. “Through the years, her level of involvement has steadily increased, to the point that she is an integral reason  along with a handful of other advanced volunteers  that we have been able to start our Volunteer Ambassador program. I know that if we need anything, Beth is there for us, and if she can’t come that day, she will help find someone who can.”

Along with her service as an Ambassador, Beth steps in when urgent needs at UWHC arise  making calls when the VITA program had to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, stuffing campaign mailers and recruiting more volunteers to help, writing campaign thank-you notes even with a broken foot, updating the No Wrong Door contact list, (No Wrong Door is a network of community resources), serving on the United Way’s grant review committee, and leading students for a litter pickup project.

She laughs and says her favorite volunteering venture was when a supporter unexpectedly donated a processed cow, and UWHC needed someone to immediately deliver meat to local agencies that could use it. To put it in perspective, a cow can produce about 440 pounds of beef  it was a lot.

Beth feels a calling to volunteer and says it brings her joy. Service is a lifelong passion, and, when you work at a nonprofit and learn more about her, it becomes evident her schedule is filled with service every single day. In addition to her help at UWHC, she can be found volunteering, planning and organizing in numerous ways for St. Michael the Archangel Church, Habitat for Humanity and ReStore, City Mission, Women’s Resource Center and Catholic Charities.

With her extensive knowledge of area service organizations, she loves to make sure “our generous community’s donations find their best home” where they can be best utilized. Whether it’s organizing a race, washing dishes, disinfecting walls during COVID, or leading a group of volunteers as a Volunteer Ambassador, Beth makes it her purpose to lighten others’ burdens. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It gives my life meaning,” Beth said. “I feel like I live a blessed life, and to whom much is given much is expected. It is my joy to meet the expectation.”

UWHC presents the "Distinguished Volunteer Award" to an individual who has demonstrated dedication and willingness to serve the community through their overall involvement with United Way as a volunteer and leader, as well as with other organizations in the nonprofit sector. It has been awarded since 1981, and was renamed in 2012 in memory of Jeri Bjorling. Bjorling was chair of the UWHC Board of Directors when she passed away. She was a remarkable volunteer, leaving an indelible impact throughout the community through her involvement both with the United Way and a wide range of service organizations. She was a difference maker in the truest sense.