It’s like having twenty-five siblings,” observed Sheila Brush as she described her role as office manager at the Ruth M. Smith Center. “No two days are ever the same. Something always comes up.”
Eight years in the office manager position, Sheila is indispensable to the Center’s ministry to the physically and mentally handicapped residents at the facility. Her daily routine includes performing normal managerial tasks such as maintaining the accounting, answering the constant flow of telephone calls, and preparing correspondence and memos. But it is her service to the residents – her siblings – that makes her position unique and brings a different yet rewarding experience every day.
“Sheila is our ‘go-to’ person for staff and residents alike,” stated Kim Adam, Executive Director of the Center. “No matter how busy she is, she always stops what she is doing, greets everyone with a smile, and helps them with whatever they need.”
“The residents come first,” explained Sheila. In putting the residents first, she becomes their problem solver, especially when it comes to money management. “We help the residents manage their money.”
Since the residents have not been able to leave the facility during the pandemic, Sheila’s serving role has expanded to shopping for her siblings. “Usually it’s simple things,” she noted, “chips, cigarettes, lottery tickets, or soda.”
The Center’s office manager position does have other challenges, particularly “keeping my ducks in a row in the midst of all the interruptions.” Included in these challenges are staying on top of the financial status of the Center, paying the bills, processing payroll, and preparing monthly reports for the Smith Center Board. Ed Kennedy, chair of the board’s finance committee, reflected, “Sheila’s helpful on all requests and dependable to produce the financial reports every month.” To that he added, “She is always concerned for the residents—and she is a wealth of Center financial history.”
Like most nonprofit organizations, the Ruth M. Smith Center has experienced its share of both blue skies and threatening storms. Regardless of the time, the residents, staff, and board have been blessed with a dependable, faithful office manager – Sheila Brush.