Rebecca Croucher, 13, a volunteer at The Terrace in Berea, looks Thursday at a scrapbook of nursing home activities with residents Mossie Mullins, left, and Edna Johnson. Over the past two years, Croucher has volunteered more than 800 hours at The Terrace.

A Berea teen who volunteers at The Terrace nursing home in Berea will receive one of the American Health Care Association’s top awards in October.

Rebecca Croucher, 13, will receive AHCA’s Young Adult Volunteer of the Year Award at the organization’s national meeting in Nashville.

Over the past two years, the Berea Christian Academy eighth-grader, has worked more than 800 volunteer hours at The Terrace, where her mother is employed.

“Rebecca has done everything from just spending time talking with residents and giving a hug to hula-hooping and bringing her puppy for residents to hold,” said Paula Strunk, administrator of The Terrace.

“We depend on her to help with activities, and our residents miss Rebecca and inquire about her when she’s not here,” Strunk said. “That shows just how much impact she has on the lives of our residents, and we are so proud of her for winning this award.”

Rebecca previously was named Young Volunteer of the Year by the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities and received the Youth Challenge Award from the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service.

“I love working with older people,” the teenager said, “and it makes me feel good to see them smile. I love many of The Terrace residents just like I love my grandparents.”

Rebecca said she enjoys planning and staging theme parties for the residents and helping with art classes, such as jewelry and ceramics.

“Spa days are fun, too,” she said. “That’s when I get to help residents with make-up.”

During National Nursing Home Week, Rebecca made fruit smoothies for the residents, Strunk said.

The teenager started by volunteering for short periods, said her mother Beverly Satterfield. She enjoyed it so much, she began asking if she could come to the nursing home everyday after school.

Rebecca said sees a career for herself in long-term care.

“Volunteers are an important part of the care we provide to our residents,” KAHCF President Ruby Jo Cummins Lubarsky said in a statement released by the organization.

“To see a young person get involved and to be recognized nationally for her work is especially uplifting,” she said. “Rebecca’s awards speaks volumes for her character and the leadership of The Terrace in mentoring her into the long-term care profession.”

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@richmondregister.com or at 623-1669, Ext. 267.

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