Manor Moments

Volunteer Spotlight: Debbi Zweitzig

April 2024

Volunteer Spotlight: Debbi Zweitzig
Making Someone’s Day with a Smile

As part of National Volunteer Recognition Week, which is held April 21-27, 2024, we will be spotlighting a volunteer each day. Cornwall Manor is proud to recognize 352 volunteers dedicated their time and talents to Cornwall Manor throughout 2023, contributing 23,821 hours to our community.

Cornwall Manor Resident Debbi Zweitzig dedicated her entire career to education. A good teacher can make a world of difference in a student’s life, impacting everything from their classroom learning to their long-term success. Teachers are the single most important factor that contributes to student achievement in the classroom. Additional qualities of respectable teachers include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. So, when a teacher is also a volunteer and utilizes those same characteristics, you have the perfect formula for a quality volunteer.

Debbi was an Early Childhood Education major and she recalls one of her first interactions with Cornwall Manor was working with the United Methodist Church to create an intergenerational experience to establish childcare for Cornwall Manor employees in 1980. Debbi worked with then Administrator Harry Schimmel and Assistant Administrator Steve Hassinger to establish the Children’s Center in Cornwall. Her background of teaching at Jack and Jill Nursery School was beneficial in helping develop the Children’s Center, which benefitted Cornwall Manor. She was the Director for three years before relocating with her family to Lewistown, where she taught kindergarten. Later relocating to Horsham, PA, she taught kindergarten for two years and third grade for 18 years.

Throughout her 36-year career in education, she corrected praxis exams for five years (tests that measure reading and writing and mathematics skills as well as the content knowledge of those entering teacher preparation programs); became a Pennsylvania Writing Fellow, which trains through West Chester University to teach and present writing in various genres, and products such as books, flip charts, shape writing, and puzzle pieces; taught literature and writing summer campus for ten years; worked on various education-related Boards and Committees; taught English as a second language (ESL) to Russian and Eastern European students. She also taught Sunday School and Junior Church classes to first and second graders. Many teachers go above and beyond their contracted hours to benefit their students and school.

After retirement in June 2015, Debbi continued to tutor and teach Sunday School classes. She also was part of her 50th High School Reunion Committee. Today, she is active in the Market Square Singers in Harrisburg which is an auditioned group, is a committee member on the Arts on the Square Board and is also active with Lebanon County Christian Ministries’ lunch coordination.

At Cornwall Manor, she sings in Cornwall Manor’s Zerr Chapel Choir and serves as a weekly Manor Shoppe cashier and greeter for special events and open houses. “If I can make someone smile, I will,” Debbi states. She also established the BYOM (Bring Your Own Meal) group in Gateway/Westwood where residents gather on a Wednesday evening, bring their own meal and share fellowship. The group started with six residents and has since doubled to 12. “I like being helpful and meeting new people.”

She feels the most rewarding volunteer experience is getting involved at Cornwall Manor, because this is her home and the new life she is making since moving in in August 2022. Volunteering helps her interact with other residents and staff and she feels that is a positive approach to getting involved. She is grateful to be part of the Cornwall Manor family as she does not want to burden her family with her future care.

When not volunteering in nearby Harrisburg or at Cornwall Manor making a difference, Debbi enjoys audio books, walking the grounds of Cornwall Manor with her walking buddy. She also loves spending time with her two grandsons and they can occasionally be spotted in Manor Café enjoying ice cream together.

We are grateful to you, Debbi, for your friendliness, care and helpful nature and are very glad you are part of the Cornwall Manor family.