Ashley Sheffer might be a young professional, but she is a seasoned veteran when it comes to making a difference in Venango County.
Ashley, one of the younger members of the Northwest Hospital Foundation Corporation Board, started making an impact on her community as an intern at the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce. Today, as the part-time “Be Here” program manager for the Chamber, she continues those efforts. The “Be Here” initiative works to demonstrate the opportunities to live, work, and play in the Venango Area, while tackling challenges that might exist.
That initiative goes hand-in-hand with her more recent endeavor, opening Core Goods in 2018. A small business in Oil City, Core Goods provides quality products to support family farms, the environment, and the local economy. They sell a variety of items, including bulk foods, local produce, kombucha on tap, and grab-and-go meals.
“We strive to offer items from as local as possible, to support our neighbors and our economy. With both Be Here and Core Goods, we focus on creating an environment where people feel like part of a community and can work toward a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically. Supporting healthcare in our local community also helps make services accessible to our rural area. “
Ashley’s work at the Chamber was her first connection to the Foundation. Because of the Foundation’s outreach to young professionals and community leaders, she joined as a member of the foundation corporation board.
“I met Theresa Edder, Foundation Executive Director, through my work with the Chamber. I later received a letter asking for my support. I was impressed because of the commitment of the Foundation not only to the hospital but to the community at large. This commitment continues to create ways for us all to stay connected.”
Last August, when her mother-in-law was diagnosed with leukemia, her involvement became more personal.
“After seeing her receive such great care, that experience made me want to support the Foundation. While my mother-in-law must travel to Pittsburgh occasionally, she is able to do a lot of her treatment at UPMC Northwest, about 10 minutes from our house. This means she spends less time traveling and has more time resting at home. “
Ashley appreciates that the Foundation seeks the support of donors and professionals of all levels.
“As a young professional, I appreciate that the Foundation reached out to me for support, and that they recognize different perspectives that can be provided by different levels of professionals and involvement. And so, when the letter asking for financial support was sent to me, I saw it as another great way to be more involved.
“It important to support healthcare in our community because of the impact it has on the overall quality of life. When people feel good, our community is a more positive place to be.”