Trinity Glen Volunteer Wins State Culture Change Award

By Katie Scarvey

Barbara Geer of Kernersville recently received the North Carolina Culture Change Coalition’s Donna McNeil Memorial Service Award at the Volunteer Appreciation dinner at Trinity Glen.

Geer directs Trinity Glen’s handbell choir, which includes her 96-year-old mother, Sue Love. None of the choir members had ever rung before, but that hasn’t held anyone back. Known as the Trinity Bells, the choir meets weekly. The members enjoy playing so much, Geer says, that some have been known to reschedule medical appointments so as not to miss a rehearsal!

The group has performed several times at Trinity Glen during holiday events and recently performed for the sixth annual Novant volunteer appreciation luncheon at Kernersville Baptist Church, where they received a standing ovation.

“They are so proud that they have been able to come together to play their music and bring joy to others,” said Trinity Glen administrator Cissy McCoy. “It does not matter if they can read music or sing; it does not matter if they only have use of one hand; it does not matter if they are bold or shy; it does not matter if they have been struck with dementia; it does not matter what the hurdle is – Barbara finds a way for them to shine in the Trinity Bells.”

“Barbara connects to each of the ringers, knowing their needs and adapting to them,” says Robin Hermida, Trinity Glen’s life enrichment coordinator.

As she accepted the award, Geer said she believes playing handbells helps to “renew the spirits” of the Trinity Glen residents. An accomplished musician and educator, Geer was the choral director and fine arts chair at East Forsyth High School in Kernersville for 25 years. She has traveled the country as president of the National Association for Music Education and was the minister of music for her church, Kernersville Baptist, for 30 years.

For the past five years, the North Carolina Culture Change Coalition has honored a relative of a resident in nursing care with this award. The winner is someone who embodies qualities associated with the coalition’s former membership chair, Donna McNeil. Those traits include gentle advocacy for those who cannot speak for themselves, dependability in the face of adversity, belief in the ability of all persons to help improve our state’s nursing homes, and a passion for lifelong learning.

Alice Carroll, chair of the N.C. Culture Change Coalition, noted that both the state of North Carolina and Lutheran Services Carolinas under the leadership of President Ted Goins have been leaders in the culture change movement.

Katie Scarvey is the Communications Specialist for Lutheran Services Carolinas. For more information on N.C. Culture Change Coalition, visit 

Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) is a ministry that provides care management, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation, assisted living, and retirement options to seniors in North Carolina as well as foster care, adoption, veterans’ services, mental health services, refugee resettlement, disaster response, and residential care for people with disabilities in both North and South Carolina.


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