A nonprofit resource development director from Cumberland County works to build a better community for others.
By Catherine Amoriello
Many girls have found and nurtured their passion through Girl Scouts, and Lauren Sheeler, director of resource development at The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region, is no exception.
Sheeler began her Girl Scout journey in kindergarten as a Daisy and continued Girl Scouting until middle school. As a Girl Scout, she was given the opportunity to travel for the first time in her life when her troop took a road trip to visit the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace in Savannah, Ga.
“I came from a small town and hadn’t ever traveled anywhere. Our whole goal was just to broaden our horizons,” Sheeler said. “It was such an eye-opening trip to learn how many things existed outside of our community.”
While the trip to Juliette Gordon Low’s house was a big highlight for Sheeler, the most impactful moment of her Girl Scout experience was when she earned her Bronze Award. Sheeler’s project was a book collection and book sale, and she donated the proceeds to a local senior center. Through the project she earned literacy and Across Generations badges which she said have stayed relevant with her throughout her career.
Sheeler’s involvement with Girl Scouts, as well as service-based activities she performed through her youth group, gave her a passion for projects that help others. And with some encouragement from one of her professors in college, Sheeler decided to put her business degree and skills to work in the nonprofit realm.
Sheeler worked for The Salvation Army Serving the Greater Carlisle Area for seven years before joining The Salvation Army Harrisburg in November 2021. The story of the organization’s founder General William Booth sending a one-word telegram saying, “Others!” to encourage and inspire Salvation Army soldiers at a convention in 1910 continues to encourage and inspire Sheeler today.
“It’s such a privilege to be involved in an organization that’s focused on helping others and that’s what I get to do for a living. I just love hearing how their lives have been blessed and changed because of The Salvation Army,” Sheeler said.
As director of resource development, Sheeler contributes to the organization’s mission by securing funds to deliver services to the community, writing grants, meeting with funders and donors and overseeing a team of four that work in various fields. Having to manage a five million dollar budget is a stressful task, Sheeler said, but thanks to her natural high energy she’s able to stay motivated and keep driving forward toward her main goal: others.
“It is very challenging. You get very emotionally invested in your career. But the internal reward and the fulfillment is why you do the job.”
Does your girl need some inspiration in finding her passion? Check out the Girl Scouts Badge Explorer to find activities that align with her interests!