Hey Sheila, How Does Your Garden Grow?

April 19, 2021  //  Women in Philanthropy

Sheila Odom of Eakes Office Solutions is a member of United Way Women in Philanthropy Steering Committee and is helping to plan this year’s Spring Networking Event at Earl May Garden Center. She recently sat down with us to chat about her ideal garden, what it’s like volunteering with United Way and why you should consider attending Spring Networking at Earl May on May 6th.


How does your garden grow?

Sheila: I favor planting flowers and loads of them! Among my favorites are Cannas and Mandevillas. I enjoy the tropical flowers/foliage and the height of the Cannas and the low maintenance full blooms of the Mandevillas. I have also found Palms to be a great option for adding height to our outdoor living spaces.


What are your tips for new gardeners?

Sheila: It took me a couple of summers to decide what plants or flowers worked best in particular spaces based upon needs for sun versus indirect sun. So I think that is important to consider when planning and purchasing plants.


How did you get involved with United Way?

Sheila: I became involved with United Way when I was asked to serve as the campaign coordinator when I was employed at Nelnet. My involvement then grew to include serving on and eventually chairing United Way Women in Philanthropy Steering Committee, serving on the United Way campaign cabinet as well as the United Way board. I continue to be a member of the United Way Women in Philanthropy Steering Committee, a Women United member, and I am the current chair of the CHAD (Combined Health Agencies Drive) Lincoln Board of Directors.


What does volunteering mean to you?

Sheila: Volunteering with United Way provides a way to help better our wonderful Lincoln community, to learn more about the services and agencies available to assist in our community and to network with others who share my passion of giving back.


Why should others get involved with United Way?

Sheila: Getting involved with United Way can really allow individuals to pursue volunteerism that speaks to their personal passions. Whether it is helping with funding reviews, participating in Day of Action, helping with special events, etc. there are so many different ways to become engaged.


The Spring Networking event at Earl May supports United Way’s Virtual Book Drive. Why should someone support the Virtual Book Drive?

Sheila: The Virtual Book Drive provides funds to purchase and distribute books for students to keep in their homes to foster greater reading. Reading can improve children’s vocabulary, grammar and writing skills as well as open so many doors of discovery for young minds. An easy way to support literacy in our community is to attend Spring Networking at Earl May on May 6th. It’s a great opportunity to connect with other women in the community. Plus, 20% of all sales will be donated to United Way’s Virtual Book Drive!


Registration closes April 30.