Life Care Centers of America recognized the outstanding volunteer contributions of James Weiss with its Carl W. Campbell Wind Beneath My Wings Award on Aug. 14, 2017.
The award, commemorated by a crystal sculpture of an eagle in flight, was given during the company’s annual management meeting at its headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee.
“This is the highest award that we give to anyone in the company,” said Beecher Hunter, Life Care president. “We truly value the contributions of James and other volunteers who share his selfless spirit.”
Weiss has been a volunteer at Life Care Center of Reno, Nevada, for the past 11 years. He was originally a short-term rehab patient in 2006 but returned to the facility as a volunteer soon after going home. He started visiting even before he could drive again (he took the bus or got a ride from his father).
Ever since, Weiss has been visiting six days a week. He usually arrives around 4:30 or 5 a.m. to serve coffee to residents, bring them to the dining room and help serve breakfast. Later, he helps deliver mail and newspapers, visits with residents, assists with activities and takes residents outside to watch the horses in the pasture behind the skilled nursing and rehab center.
“He arrives with a warm smile on his face, a calm and reassuring demeanor and a word of encouragement for everyone who comes into contact with him,” said Machelle Harris, senior executive director. “He knows all of our residents by name, and they greatly look forward to his visits. He has such a big heart, and he gives it away to everybody.”
Weiss frequently buys snacks and drinks for residents, and he hand delivers birthday cards for associates on their special day. Outside the facility, he visits residents when they have to go to the hospital for acute care, and he attends the funerals of long-term residents who have passed away.
“I work with such a fine company, and I just love to help people,” said Weiss. “It feels good in my heart because I know that’s what God wants me to do. This award means everything to me because I know everything I do is for God’s children.”
The Carl W. Campbell Wind Beneath My Wings Award is presented annually to a volunteer chosen from among Life Care’s more than 200 facilities nationwide. Criteria include serving as an inspirational example of extraordinary dedication and providing leadership in the field of nursing home volunteerism.
Carl W. Campbell is an entrepreneur from Washington who provided financial support for the construction of Life Care’s first nursing facility in Cleveland, Tennessee. Campbell has continued to lend his resources and heart to the growth of the company and the achievement of its mission.