CCUSA Recognizes Richard & Elisabeth Buchanan as 2015 Volunteers of the Year

Alexandria, Va. – Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), which represents one of the largest faith-based social service networks in the country, is pleased to announce that Richard and Elisabeth Buchanan, volunteers at Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona as winners of CCUSA’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year award.

Since 1963, the Buchanans have cared for dozens of foster children through Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona. “Whenever we have need of a place for a baby to go for a few hours, days or weeks, the Buchanans are always happy to help,” says Lexann Downey-Lewis, the Program Director for pregnancy and adoption at Catholic Community Services.

To date, Richard and Elisabeth have cared for 217 foster children through Catholic Community Services. “Every baby is different,” Richard says. “You wouldn’t think a little thing like that could be different, but each one (all 217 of them) are different. It’s just amazing.”

“The Buchanans’ selflessness in opening their hearts and homes for so many children in need is not only impressive, but admirable,” said Jean Beil, CCUSA’s Sr. Vice President of Programs & Services. “We want to thank Richard and Elisabeth and all of our amazing nominees for giving selflessly of their time and talents and realizing the importance of lending a helping hand. Our local agencies would be hard-pressed to serve so many without the tireless support that volunteers like The Buchanans and hundreds of thousands of others provide every day.”

The Volunteer of the Year award has been given out annually since 1998 and honors the contributions of more than 300,000 volunteers each year who dedicate their time and talents to the Catholic Charities network. Honored during National Volunteer Month, Richard & Elisabeth Buchanan were selected from the following list of impressive finalists:

  • Jim and Norma Malcolm (Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend)
  • Nalda Mitchell (Catholic Charities of Central Colorado)
  • Judge John McShane (Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis)
  • Dillia Sylvester (Catholic Charities Diocese of Providence)
  • Josephina “Josie” Nieto (Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston)
  • Alma Revesz (Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley)

Additional information and submission excerpts for the finalists and other candidates can be found at


Patricia Cole, VP Communications


Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), a member of Caritas Internationalis, is the national office for the Catholic Charities ministry nationwide. CCUSA’s members provide help and create hope to more than 10 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds.