Supported Living

Service with a Smile

May 3, 2012

     If you’re having a bad day, spend some time with Sheilah. She’ll make you smile, even if you don’t want to. Sheilah has a magical way of lifting spirits because her cheerfulness is refreshingly genuine.

When Sheilah smiles, her happiness comes with no strings attached.

“Sheilah is a wonderful person,” said Shana Landrum, a BCFR Supported Living Assistant who works at the supported living site where Sheila lives. “She has a great attitude and is always willing to help others. If she asks a question, she cares about the answer.”

Sheilah has been receiving services from BCFR since 1985. Over the years, the 47-year-old has participated in a wide variety of activities including Special Olympics and Cedar Creek Riding Center. In addition, she works fulltime bagging parts at Central Missouri Subcontracting Enterprises.

But Sheilah’s real passion is helping other people.

With that in mind, BCFR staff members have been helping Sheilah find opportunities to volunteer in the community. The experiences have not only helped build her confidence and self-esteem, but given the community an opportunity to meet Sheilah.

“She has always voiced a desire to volunteer and to be involved in the community,” said Kim Cearlock, a BCFR Site Supervisor who works closely with Sheilah. “We are excited to see her accomplishing her goal.”

Sheilah’s volunteer work has included a wide variety of activities, including handing out candy at the University Tiger Night of Fun and ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. In February, Sheilah sacked lunches at the annual Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Missouri and hid eggs a month later for the city’s Easter Egg Hunt Extravaganza.

So far this spring, Sheilah has volunteered with Clean Up Columbia and Earth Day festivities.

To help Sheilah overcome any challenges that might arise while volunteering, she is accompanied by a staff member. Consequently, staff knows firsthand that giving back comes naturally for Sheilah.

“When Sheilah volunteers, it seems to be very meaningful as she is always smiling, active and energetic in involving herself in the process,” said Chad Mitchell, a Teacher Counselor with BCFR.

For Shana, Sheilah is a special person who is tough to describe in a few words.

“She is caring, happy, curious, family-oriented, positive, energetic and a social person,” Shana said.

While those who know her sing her praises, Sheilah is far more modest about her qualities.

“I just like to be nice,” she said.

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