Essex County, N.J. Real Estate Agent Honored with U.S. President Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteer Service

Joyce McGrath recognized for helping the hungry and others in need by First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell

Ellen Johnson and Joyce McGrath (right)

WEST ORANGE, N.J. (Sept. 27, 2023) Coldwell Banker Realty is proud to congratulate Joyce McGrath, a sales associate affiliated with the company’s West Essex Regional office, for her receipt of the prestigious President of the United States Lifetime Achievement Award. The award, signed by President Joe Biden, recognizes McGrath for her more than 5,200 hours of volunteer service to her church and community. McGrath was officially honored during a Sept. 24 service at First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell. McGrath is a lifetime resident of Essex County and has resided in West Orange since 1974. She has been serving the real estate needs of the community since 1986.

“Joyce has faithfully served our church as an ordained deacon, youth advisor, confirmation mentor and in many other volunteer positions during the past 20-plus years,” said Ellen Johnson, a Stephen minister at First Presbyterian Church who presented the Lifetime Achievement award to McGrath. “Joyce is a very humble person and never one to seek accolades or recognition for the selfless work that she quietly does for the people of Essex County throughout the year, whether in the freezing cold of winter or the heat and humidity of the summer. She is a beacon of hope with a radiant smile, always putting the needs of others ahead of her own.”

Every month, McGrath spearheads the church’s Sandwich Night, preparing 450 bagged lunches for the homeless at St. John’s Soup Kitchen in Newark. She also coordinates and distributes meals twice a month at Our Lady of the Valley Church in Orange, and manages First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell’s weekly (and some weekends) soup kitchen. Throughout the years, McGrath has collected food donations for the Caldwell Food Pantry, as well running coat and sweater drives for the Essex County homeless. She has served meals and planted a community garden at Oasis, A Haven for Women and Children in Paterson. McGrath volunteers for First Presbyterian Church at Caldwell’s annual turkey drive for the Community Food Bank of NJ, the annual golf outing fundraiser, and its Christmas party for Strengthen our Sisters Domestic Violence Shelter, providing a holiday meals, activities and gifts during the holidays.

For more than 18 years, McGrath and her husband Chuck chaperoned youth mission trips to Pittsburgh each summer, helping with home renovations and repairs for the elderly and low income families. Following Hurricane Katrina, McGrath and several church members drove down to affected areas multiple times with supplies and tools to assist with home repairs and provide comfort to those who had lost so much.

“Joyce McGrath is not only a remarkable real estate agent, she is also a shining example of community engagement. Her commitment and compassion is nothing short of inspiring. We are very grateful to Joyce for her continued support not only within our office, but also in the broader community,” said Nick Gagis, managing broker for the Coldwell Banker Realty West Essex Regional office.

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