Voth’s volunteer spirit felt in Bluffton and beyond


By Craig Kelly - [email protected]



BLUFFTON — Service has been a way of life for Bluffton’s Laura Voth, whether in her vocation or as a volunteer, and that willingness to serve has earned Voth one of this year’s Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

Even as she served as the director of Bluffton’s Mennonite Memorial Home, Voth still had the time and energy to work to benefit the Bluffton community as a volunteer, serving for over 10 years on the Bluffton Child Development Center board of directors, as the secretary for the Bluffton Bicycle Pathway board of director and also serving the Bluffton Lions Club, both as a member and as part of the board of directors for the club’s foundation.

Most recently, Voth has brought her skills and energy to the United Way of Greater Lima, helping the organization through a time of transition. In October 2020, the United Way announced that it would be making changes to its internal operations to help maximize its community impact, including expanding the use of volunteers.

“Within days of that announcement, Laura Voth stepped up to help the organization accomplish its goals,” according to United Way of Greater Lima President and CEO Erin Hardesty. In nominating Voth for this award, Hardesty noted that she “offered to come on board as a ‘full time’ volunteer, serving approximately 24 to 32 hours a week. Through her experience in operational leadership, she helped completely remake the fund distribution policy for the United Way.”

Voth’s work included simplifying the application process to help the United Way be better able to evaluate where funds would be distributed while freeing up more funds to invest in the local community, according to Hardesty. Additionally, Voth’s work with the organization may help create future Jefferson Award winners.

“She is helping us create a volunteer database that will be used by everyone in the community,” Hardesty said in Voth’s nomination. “The volunteer database will allow members of the community to view all of the volunteer opportunities that are available and get connected directly with the agencies that have those opportunities.”

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By Craig Kelly

[email protected]

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0391 or on Twitter @cmkelly419.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0391 or on Twitter @cmkelly419.

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