National Youth Volunteer of the Year

(WASHINGTON, D.C. July 27, 2016) — The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) have announced the recipients for the 2016 AHCA/NCAL Awards program. The recipient of the Young Adult Volunteer of the Year award is Zach Severson, for his volunteer work at the Good Samaritan Society – Canton.

The award seeks to highlight a young person (under age 19) that has made a positive contribution to residents and staff of a Nursing Center. Zach is a junior at Canton High School and is the son of Brad and LuAnn Severson. He had previously been named as South Dakota Young Adult Volunteer of the Year, causing his name to be entered into competition for the national award.

Severson has volunteered at the Center for more than three years, visiting the Center each week. He has taken on a diverse range of activities, including organizing board games and bingo, assisting residents with going outdoors and filling bird feeders, and visiting with and engaging residents. In addition, Zach has been instrumental in recruiting other young people to spend time volunteering in the Center.

“I am honored to receive this award. Giving back to the community, especially the elderly, is very important to me,” said Severson. “I hope I can set an example to other youth. My volunteer experience has taught me that it is not the quantity of time you give, but the quality of that time.”

“Zach’s youthful kindness offers a unique contribution,” said Jeanne Limoges, Office Manager at the Good Samaritan Society. “His patience and cheerful demeanor put residents at ease so they can simply relax and enjoy their time together. Zach’s visits are pure joy!”

“We are so pleased that Zach has received this prestigious award,” said Mark B. Deak, Executive Director of the South Dakota Health Care Association. “His volunteerism is an inspiration, and reflects the generosity of spirit which we find so often among South Dakotans.”


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