Sheilah Young has been working all her life. For years, as a single mother, she honed her skills as a seamstress doing costume design for theater. The work never provided benefits or sick leave, but Sheilah made do because costume design has always been a labor of love for her. In the midst of working hard, she always found time to volunteer, both for the American Cancer Society and as the Assistant Vice President of the Dunleith Civic Association. As Vice President she manages the Dunleith swimming pool, the only county pool still operating in New Castle County, DE. Residents pay a few dollars to swim during the summer months but when kids who want to swim lack the funds, Sheilah allows them to enter by paying in a more creative way. "I have them read a chapter from a book to me or make them do some math problems," she explains.
"I really could not afford to pay for a new roof. I will always have to work and the key is staying in my home."
Sheilah is a young 67 but she had to retire early from her costume work when her mother became ill and required her constant care. Sheilah's limited income had to cover both her and her mother's expenses. After her mother passed, Sheilah returned to her work part time as a seamstress at Joseph A. Banks but admits that she would rather be making costumes for the theater. "I really miss making pretty things," she remarked. With only part time work and the loss of savings while caring for her mother, Sheilah became concerned when her roof required replacement. "I really could not afford to pay for a new roof. I will always have to work and the key is staying in my home." So when she found out about Good Neighbors while attending a Rose Hill Community Center meeting she made the call immediately.
A few months later, volunteers from Good Neighbors' first corporate work week, Hands of Hope, descended on Sheilah's roof and managed to replace it in just one day! Always a volunteer at heart, Sheilah donned work gloves and jumped right in. She even made sure that everyone was well fed and provided hot soup and snacks to volunteers from WSFS and Capital One. "I was so excited to have them," she said, "This really helped me a lot. I have always volunteered for the blessing and the blessing was returned when I got a new roof!."