Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Sheila Donis!
Born in Chicago, Providence Associate Sheila Donis was educated by the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.
During her eighth-grade year, Sheila had Sister Mary Lee Mettler, SP (RIP) in class and she has never forgotten the experience.
“Sister Mary Lee encouraged my artistic abilities,” Sheila commented. “I remembered that through the years.”
Sheila was, at one time, a Sister of Providence. But after several years of being away from the Congregation, Providence brought her back to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in 2009 when she became a Providence Associate.
Since then, she has volunteered her time with the Congregation in various artistic capacities, including card-making and the creation of memory books.
Memory books include photos and remembrances of a person’s family, including past and present dialogue with the photos.
“It feels good to be kind and helpful,” Sheila said. “We have fun and I’m fulfilling a need for the Sisters and others. It’s all about the relationships you create with the people.”
At least twice a month, Sheila drives from her home in Greene County to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for the card-making sessions. She provides the materials and the cards while those who participate cn actually create the card and write their own messages within the cards.
“The card kits are kind of specific for the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Sheila said. “I provide the kits and the sisters make the cards. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, I made cards for the sisters.”
During the memory book sessions, Sheila asks those who want to create the books bring family photos which she electronically scans for use within the books. She also prints out the words that go with each photo which are then placed on the pages of the books. Many of the sisters who create the books with Sheila either provide them to their family or send them to the Congregation’s Archives Department.
Sisters of Providence Volunteer Director Sister Rebecca Keller, SP said Sheila’s artistic contributions are greatly appreciated during several events that take place at the Woods, including Christmas Fun at the Woods and more.
“Sheila is one of our most creative volunteers,” Sister Rebecca said. “Over the years, she has facilitated all kinds of projects for every age group, children through the elderly. She generously donates the supplies for these projects.
“Her activities are always well attended and her enthusiasm is a contributing factor to the popularity of her projects and time with us!”
The Sisters of Providence offer many volunteer opportunities where you can make a difference, learn new skills and feel your presence is valued.