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July 10, 2023

greeNest Receives 2023 Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence


The Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence was awarded at a luncheon ceremony on July 10, 2023 to greeNest. This is greeNest’s first application for the bi-annual award. In addition to the recognition they were awarded a grant of $50,000.  

Founded in 2015, greeNest provides gently used home furnishings to people in our community experiencing a housing crisis. Over 1500 homes have been furnished through the Finally Home Program since 2015, and over 1500 children who were sleeping on the floor have received new free beds through the Up Off The Floor Program. Over 150 active volunteers process donations, assist shoppers, and support greeNest in various ways. Since 2015, over 1 million pounds of furniture have been diverted from the landfill, offering a smart and sustainable approach to community development and supporting residents in need.

greeNest Executive Director Julia Toone shared, “It’s an honor to have been selected among so many deserving non-profits. This achievement recognizes the legacy of our founders and the hard work and support of many in our community, including volunteers, partnering agencies, donors, and our wonderful staff. We’re grateful to Claudette Weston and the Weston Committee for selecting greeNest for this award.”

Distinguished past award recipients include Goodwill of NWNC, Senior Services, Cancer Services, Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, and several others.



The Joel and Claudette Weston Award has honored and recognized leadership and excellence in nonprofit management at local organizations for more than 30 years.  Joel A. Weston, Jr. was a senior executive at the Hanes Companies and an active member of the Winston-Salem community. He served as president of the United Way of Forsyth County Board from 1980-1982. Joel believed strongly that nonprofit organizations should be well run and efficient and he introduced many innovative programs designed to strengthen charitable organizations and the community. He passed away unexpectedly in 1984. The Weston Award Endowment was founded in 1985 at The Winston-Salem Foundation by family and friends of Joel A. Weston as a way to honor his vision and dedication to the community. In 1985 the Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence was established to recognize local human service agencies that are performing at peak efficiency. Today, Joel’s widow, Claudette Weston, continues the family tradition of community involvement and philanthropy through her efforts on numerous boards and organizations and as a member of the Weston Award Committee. The award is overseen by a volunteer committee and given out every other year. The award was last given in 2019 to Samaritan Ministries. Graham Pervier served as the committee’s Chair for a number of years. He was a friend of Joel’s and a guiding hand for the Weston Committee. In memory of Graham and his dedication to the award and the community, a separate honor will be given to a deserving applicant.


What is The Weston Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management?


Every other year any nonprofit agency in Forsyth County can apply to win the Weston Award for Nonprofit Excellence. An agency that wins the award must wait ten five years to apply again. The application is a rigorous evaluation of all aspects of nonprofit management: financial and personnel management, program development and effectiveness, long range planning, marketing, fund-raising, board development, etc.


All applications are reviewed by a 16 member Weston Award committee. In addition, the committee hears an oral presentation by representatives of each agency and their board. The winner is presented with the prestigious and much coveted bi-annual award and a grant of $50,000.


What does the Weston Award Accomplish?


The Weston Award recognizes, affirms, encourages and financially supports the best- run charitable organization in Forsyth County as selected every other year by the Weston Award Committee. The Award is a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of nonprofit management. In filling out the award application, nonprofit organizations can assess and receive feedback on how their agency measures up against best practices in human service agency management. The award promotes efficiency, competence, fiscal integrity, innovation and program effectiveness. Nonprofit management excellence in turn equates to a community that can better help its most vulnerable citizens, maximize philanthropy and enhance quality of life for all.

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