By Mary Beth Daley, Staff Accountant
What a privilege it was to do this assignment with Sheila. I so enjoyed the opportunity to get to know more about what makes Sheila “tick,” if you will. And what did I discover? I discovered a truly compassionate woman with a servant’s heart. Let me share just a bit of what I learned.
I asked Sheila, “Before working at Elder Law of Michigan, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?” She responded by talking about two different job opportunities, one meeting the “interesting” criteria while the other most certainly met the “unusual” one!
The interesting job she had was when she worked for William Tyndale College, first in the Business Office and then in the Counseling Office. Both assignments centered around helping students, which Sheila said she loved!
In response to the unusual job, Sheila shared about her time at Hope Dental Clinic, in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Hope Dental Clinic is a free clinic that provides general dental care to those without insurance or ability to pay. Now, here comes the unusual part. Sheila was hired as the office manager…but when required, she would buy a new pair of white sneakers, at a nearby store, put on a clean lab coat and fill in for the dental assistant, handing the doctor instruments and mixing filling materials. See what I mean, about Sheila’s servant heart? She was and is willing to go the extra mile to meet a client’s need.
That bring us to Sheila’s beginning with Elder Law of Michigan. Again, true to her servant’s heart, she began her tenure with Elder Law of Michigan as a volunteer. For more than a year, Sheila volunteered for the Consumer Fraud Prevention Project. She was then offered a part-time position and finally went full time in August of 2013.
As a MiCAFE Network Benefits Specialist, she loves the fact that she has an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the clients she serves. In fact, in response to the question, “What is your proudest moment at Elder Law of Michigan?” Sheila says, “When one of my clients is willing to tell their story, (either by making a video or writing something for the website) in order to encourage others.”
When answering the question, “What has been your favorite project at Elder Law of Michigan?” Sheila spoke about the Case Management Project. This project followed ten clients, for an entire year, reaching out to them regularly to help meet personal needs. Sheila enjoyed the opportunity to really establish a relationship with these ten clients and help with long-term follow-up.
When asked, “What advice would you give to a new hire (at Elder Law of Michigan)?” Sheila said, “Talk slower, especially when talking with seniors…and, have empathy!” She also added, a few words of wisdom learned from a co-worker, “When in doubt, just DO your job!”
I would like to close this insight into Shelia Robison by sharing her answer to this question, “How would you describe your day job to a child?” Sheila’s answer, “I help grandmas and grandpas live better.” See what I mean? A true servant’s heart!