Community Leader: Sheyanne Smith

Sheyanne Smith received the top honour in the Community Leader Award category for volunteers

Sheyanne Smith.

At this stage of her life, the Kelowna Gospel Mission is home for Sheyanne Smith.

She has been living at the emergency shelter since January when her family lost the home that she, her mom, brother and mom’s boyfriend were living in.

Living at the Gospel Mission until she can find another form of housing, Sheyanne has volunteered there every day on an average of 10 to 12 hours a day, sometimes more.

Her volunteering leads to to assist with making sandwiches in the kitchen and serving meals, and helping in the free clothing bank, monitoring the courtyard and helping guests access items for showers and more.

Sonja Menyes, manager of volunteers and development officer for the Kelowna Gospel Mission, says Sheyanne loves to help and loves people.

Beside housing issues, Sheyanne is also still rehabilitating from a horrific car crash in 2011, when she was in Grade 12, that left her in a comma for two months and in the hospital for 1 1/2 years.

Sonja says when Sheyanne first woke up, she could not walk, a condition it took her a couple of months to overcome.

Sheyanne does have an occupational therapist working with her to help her deal with ongoing motor skills and mobility issues resulting from the accident, but Sonja says Sheyanne prefers to focus on other people.

When asked who should be nominated for this award, every Gospel Mission staff member brought up Sheyanne’s name.

“This is a young woman who has an incredibly hard life but greets each day with a smile and a positive attitude and a giant heart. I and the entire staff at Kelowna Gospel Mission highly recommend Sheyanne for this award,” Sonja said.