Captain Sheila Heard earns awards in recognition of her service to Operation RedBlock.
Sheila Heard, captain, is a reputable New England Division Operation RedBlock team member. In 2015, she was honored to receive both a Captain’s Award and a Spirit Award.
“She gets out there and has a lot of passion for what she does,” said George Ross, events coordinator. “She really wants to make sure people get the right information.”
For Heard, recognition is only the icing on a very large cake. The greatest reward is seeing lives changed for the better.
“All I have to do is help someone kick drugs and alcohol, and once they get their confidence back up, it’s a whole new life,” she said.
Heard, who marks 18 years with Amtrak in January, has volunteered with RedBlock off and on since 2001. Many people have confided in her as she helped them on the road to recovery. Heard has never repeated anything told to her in confidence, not even to her closest friends.
“I’m very big on confidentiality; it’s the most important thing,” she said. “I’m like a vault — I lock it up.”
Working in New Haven, Connecticut, Heard hosts multiple monthly events — fish fries, and coffee and donuts are some recent examples.
“I’m trying to keep awareness up and let people know that we are still here,” Heard said. “We are blessed that we have this program.”