Karen Sheets has won the Sparwood Chamber’s Community Spirit Award for 2019.
The forty-year-old wife and mother of two, is a whirlwind of community service who sets a very high standard for charity in the Elk Valley.
“I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer with everyone from kids on hockey teams to seniors and Meals on Wheels,” she said. “I make sure that I show up for community events whether being a participant on Canada Day, to doing a warmup for the Terry Fox Run, and definitely supporting the Parkinson’s group. They are high-up on my list.”
Sheets strives to support other people’s ideas and goals.
“I want to be that person who is spirit,” she explained. “I want to be that one who is supporting people in their ambitions. The more you know those people in the community, the more you can give to them, and in a sense, the more they give back to you. It makes for a better and more vibrant place.”
“There are so many people, and so many charitable things that need to be dealt with, not just big stuff, but little things,” Sheets said. “We sit in the mall for Light Up A Child’s Life and try to get the hockey team that my son is on involved, as well as the yoga kids that I teach, so that we can start to build volunteering and community based connection at a young age, because I really think that’s something we need to promote.”
Sheets said the community needs to support those who are volunteering.
“It’s always the same five people doing something, and I want to support those same five people.” she said.
Sheets said she first learned about helping others when she was a sign language interpreter.
“As a part of schooling, you had to interact within the deaf community,” she explained. “I think seeing how much you gained and understood about culture and community and what can be formed and what can happen through volunteering and through working together as a team, it gave me inspiration. So I think when you feel like you can give to others, you also get the same back.”
“How do we make that change?” asks Sheets.
“I sat on boards to begin with. When I moved back to Sparwood, I sat on the Chamber board, and learned about the great things they were doing.”
Sheets is thankful that she has such great support.
“My parents and my husband, I have them,” she said. “They fully support the idea of community as well, because they are supporting me to be able to carve the time. I love connecting with people. I think that the more we connect with people, the more we realize that we are not so different.”
Sheets teaches yoga and fitness, and practices massage and body sugaring under the banner of Divine Anatomy. She also runs a greenhouse with her husband.
When asked where she finds the time for all her activities, she said with a chuckle, “I have an online scheduling system.”
“The love that you get back from people when you see them once a week delivering a meal is great,” she said. “Sometimes you’re the only one they might see. I think just to offer some sort of grace to other people is a must.”