Georgina Ryon, a resident at Trinity Oaks in Salisbury, North Carolina, is the 2021 LSC WOW (Worker of Wonders) Award winner for North Carolina.
Ryon was surprised with this honor during a Shepherd Society event at the senior living community and received a standing ovation from her fellow residents.
“I was totally flabbergasted. I didn’t even know anything about the award,” Ryon said. “It just kind of took the ground out from under me. It was really shocking, and I felt very honored that I was even nominated.”
The WOW Award honors LSC volunteers who offer exemplary service and demonstrate significant dedication to the LSC ministry. For 2021, one volunteer in North Carolina and one volunteer in South Carolina were selected as WOW recipients.
Nominated by Trinity Oaks Executive Director Bill Johnson, Ryon is an active volunteer around the community and has lived there for almost 12 years. Her primary role is managing the “Shop on the Corner”; a resident-run store that has donated just over $61,000 in profits so far to the Trinity Oaks retirement community. These resources fund the needs and wants that enhance daily living, such as the pergola and chapel supplies, bus repairs, microphone stands, and many other items.
“It’s been a great success and been growing every year,” Ryon said. “It has grown leaps and bounds and it’s all thanks to my co-chairs and the volunteers who work in the store.”
In the nomination form, Johnson said one of his favorite stories about Ryon that shows her dedication and thoughtfulness is a COVID-19 story.
At the beginning of lockdown, Trinity Oaks residents, like the rest of the country, found themselves scrambling for toilet paper. Residents were also discouraged from going out for almost any reason to keep each other safe.
So Ryon took it upon herself to make sure everyone had access to toilet paper.
“We had to close the shop in the pandemic, but my co-chair and I, every time we would find any place that had toilet paper, we would buy it. We could get a couple of cases at a time,” she said. “We had a note on the door of the store that if anybody wanted anything like toilet paper, toothpaste, or snacks, one of us would go shop and get it and deliver it to their room.”
Along with her role at the “Shop on the Corner,” Ryon is an active member of the Trinity Oaks Resident Association (TORA), where she represents her residence floor and formally serves as Finance Committee member and president. She has also been a staff member of the resident newspaper (The Acorn). Currently, she serves as a Food Committee member and a scripture reader at weekly chapel.
When describing Ryon to others, Johnson said she is faithful, hardworking, and reliable.
“Mrs. Ryon’s dedication to running the shop so efficiently and successfully has set her apart as a vital volunteer,” Johnson said. “Her leadership in managing the store and its staff, contents, and customers have enhanced all those who have come to rely on the store on so many different levels.”