“The right place at the right time”

2015 Distinguished Service Award: Sherry Nebel

“The most rewarding aspect of being involved with Wellspring is seeing the agency’s talented and focused team work with families in crisis—sometimes over a long period of time—and actually witnessing lives that are turned around. Even more amazing is how some of those families come back and volunteer their own time and talent to help others in need. What could be better than that?” - Sherry Nebel


OCTOBER 26, 2015: Sherry Nebel has been volunteering with Wellspring Family Services for 18 years, with contributions ranging from strategic oversight and communications expertise, to luncheon planning and quietly donating to the Baby Boutique. She was part of a team that stewarded us through challenges in the late 1990s and helped build the foundation that sustains us today.

“The first board meeting I attended was, simply stated, difficult,” Sherry recalled recently, noting tough choices were made about dropping some services and ramping up revenue-producing opportunities.

“Let me stress that for a new board member it was pretty terrifying. I remember asking myself, ‘Just what have I gotten myself into?’ In retrospect, witnessing the initial crisis, the focused work of the board and agency team, the eventual rebuilding and subsequent recovery turned out to be an amazing learning experience.”

It was also a bit of serendipity. When Sherry was recruited to Wellspring’s board by her Boeing colleague Dave Osmer, she had just completed the yearlong Seattle Chamber of Commerce Leadership Tomorrow program. Who else was in her class?

“Yes, the fabulous Ruthann Howell. So all the pieces came together!”

In all, Sherry served on Wellspring’s board for five years, from 1997 to 2002, and she chaired and served on the luncheon committee through the years. Sherry and her Boeing colleague Dave Osmer were also key to launching our 1892 Legacy Group that recognizes dedicated supporters who wish to give Wellspring a planned gift, either through bequest in a will, by trust or a gift annuity. 

We asked Sherry recently to reflect back on her experiences with Wellspring Family Services. Her observations:

Q: Why are you passionate about the work of Wellspring and its mission?

A: “As someone who was born and raised in Seattle, the more I learned about Wellspring’s mission, the more I realized that how we respond to the challenges of families in crisis says a lot about the values in our community. 

My passion is based on the extraordinary leadership I see from Ruthann and the talented and dedicated team she has put together. The results are significant and meaningful.”

Q: In what ways have you turned this passion into action?

A: “My friends and family know that when I am passionate about something, I rope others in on the action. I’m so proud that my husband, Bob, and our son, Eric, have chosen to get involved in Wellspring over the years. In fact, at a very young age, it was Eric’s first community volunteer activity. Later, in high school, he worked with Bevette and her kids one summer! Additionally, I’ve convinced my brother-in-law and his son to get involved in Wellspring. And, as recently as this summer, my great-niece, who is a high school sophomore, volunteered in the Baby Boutique! So it’s definitely a family commitment!”

Thank you, Sherry, for your significant contribution of time, talent and treasure to Wellspring Family Services!

Click here for a full list of our 2015 Wellspring Community Award recipients.

ABOUT US: Wellspring Family Services helps homeless families and others going through trauma discover their resilience, move through crisis, and reach their full potential. Our Community Services include:

  • Placement for homeless families and housing stabilization
  • The Baby Boutique, our free store for essesential items
  • Comprehensive early learning and kindergarten readiness for children who have experienced homelessness or other trauma
  • Domestic violence intervention and counseling
  • Parent-child counseling services

Our mission: Build emotionally healthy, self-sufficient families and a nonviolent community in which they can thrive.