National service agency recognizes two volunteers from its AmeriCorps Seniors programs at FiftyForward for tens of thousands of hours of service

WASHINGTON, DC— Michael D. Smith, AmeriCorps CEO, presented the President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award to two AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers serving with FiftyForward in Nashville, Tenn yesterday. Both awardees have given tens of thousands of hours addressing food insecurity and mentoring children in their communities.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award were presented Monday, April 3 to:

  • Ed Batsel, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer, FiftyForward RSVP program, Lifetime Achievement Award, 25 years and 4,000+ Hours
    Twenty-five years ago, Ed Bastel began volunteering with FiftyForward Meals on Wheels as a daily meal delivery driver in the Hillsboro Village community. After a brief pause during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Batsel was one of the first volunteers back on his route. He has continued to serve during a time when recruiting and retaining volunteers has proven difficult and is a comforting, constant presence in the lives of those he serves.

  • Eliza Eules, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteer, FiftyForward Foster Grandparent Program, Lifetime Achievement Award, 26 years and 23,000+ Hours
    Eliza Eules has served as an AmeriCorps Senior volunteer for the past 26 years, where she mentors children ages two years old through third grade. Eules has taught many children to read, and according to the teacher she assisted, she is the reason they are able to transition to the next class. Eules serves as both a mentor to the children and a support to other volunteers, staff and community members.

“The President’s Volunteer Service Award continues to highlight the enduring spirit of service that unites Americans and transforms lives,” said AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. “I am honored to present Ed and Eliza with the Presidential Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award and recognize the tremendous work they do to support children and older adults in their community.”

“FiftyForward is honored to nominate AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers Eliza Eules and Ed Batsel for Presidential Volunteer Service Awards in recognition of their lifetime of service to the Nashville community. Serving as a Foster Grandparent volunteer and FiftyForward Fresh Meals on Wheels delivery volunteer respectively, Eliza and Ed represent the hundreds of older adults who give their time and talent to help others through FiftyForward volunteer programs,” said Robin Johnson, director, Volunteer Engagement, FiftyForward. “We are tremendously grateful both for their service and for AmeriCorps CEO Michael Smith for personally awarding these outstanding volunteers with their certificates.

Led by AmeriCorps and managed in partnership with Points of Light, the President’s Volunteer Service Award allows organizations to recognize their most exceptional volunteers based on service over a 12-month period or a lifetime. The awards program began in 2003 and honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires others to act. 

According to new AmeriCorps research, at the height of the pandemic, more than 1 million formal volunteers contributed 93.3 million hours of service through organizations worth an estimated $2.7 billion in 2021. In Tennessee, more than 4,800 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers united to meet local needs, strengthen communities and expand opportunity through national service at more than 700 locations across the state. Tennessee received more than $20.6 million in AmeriCorps funding, which was matched with more than $3.6 million in local support.