AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith Presents President’s Volunteer Service Award to Tennessee Volunteers

WASHINGTON, DC, April 06, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 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.

AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers. Learn more at

AmeriCorps offers opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to be a part of the national service community, grow personally and professionally, and receive benefits for their service. Learn how to get involved at

Established in 1956, FiftyForward supports, champions, and enhances life for those 50 and older. As a nonprofit serving Middle Tennessee, FiftyForward operates seven lifelong learning centers – two in Williamson County and five in Davidson County – offering classes including health and wellness, arts, technology, virtual programming, and engaging volunteer opportunities. FiftyForward also provides comprehensive supportive care for older adults including essential services such as FiftyForward Friends Adult Day Services, FiftyForward Fresh/Meals on Wheels, and care management. Providing older adults with the opportunity to use their lifetime of experience to serve their community is a key component of supporting the FiftyForward mission. As a longtime national service grantee FiftyForward stands proud as one of the original agencies to pilot a Foster Grandparent Program. Through the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP), FiftyForward engages older adult volunteers who positively impact their community in countless ways, including tutoring and mentoring children, delivering nutritious meals to homebound seniors, and supporting the efforts of area nonprofit agencies. Learn more about FiftyForward and older adults by listening to our podcast and stories at and by following us @FiftyForward on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.