Hometown Bank’s Everyday Hometown Hero for November is a familiar figure in her hometown of Auburn. Sheila Barter serves on the board of directors as secretary of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and sits on a number of key committees – nominating, program, school/business partnership, health and business expo, Best of Auburn contest, Auburn Cleanup Committee and the golf tournament that benefits scholarships for students at Auburn High and Baypath Regional.
But it is her work with the Auburn VNA/ Hospice, a division of the Southern Worcester County VNA, a position she has held since 1985, that puts her in a position to do what she loves most, look out for the frail, the infirm and, in some cases, the forgotten. These days, Sheila spends much of her time speaking at local senior centers explaining the ins and outs of palliative care, home health assistance and end of life programs, such as hospice care with sensitivity and compassion.
“The word ‘caring’ is one of the first words you learn when you are employed in a health care agency,” says Mrs. Barter, who has a particular affinity for helping patients undergoing cancer treatment. When she hears some local resident has been diagnosed and started treatment, she sends anonymous, inspirational cards and words of encouragement, and she is fond of handing out hand-crafted “pocket angels” to help raise people’s hopes and spirits.
She has also supported Relay for Life efforts in both Auburn and Worcester, and encouraged her grandson, Nate to adopt the charity in fulfilling his school’s volunteer requirement.
The community of Auburn is so very fortunate to have such a warm and compassionate advocate,” says Hometown Bank’s Auburn branch manager, Tina Puzo, who nominated Mrs. Barter. “We should all be so fortunate as to have a Sheila Barter in our corner to encourage us and lift our spirits!”
A donation has been made to Why Me? Sherry’s House in Mrs. Barter’s honor.
Hometown Bank is a $400 million mutual bank with branch offices in Athol, Auburn, Leominster, Oxford, South Lancaster, Sturbridge and two locations in Webster