FHR's Paula Farrales distinguished as Unsung Heroine

Published 05/02/2013

Massachusetts Recovery Support Worker recognized for commitment to community

(L-R) Representative Shaunna O'Connell and 
Paula Farrales showcase the Unsung Heroine Award
at the Massachusetts State House

Boston, MA – Paula Farrales, a Taunton resident and Recovery Support Worker at Fellowship Health Resources (FHR), has been recognized by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) for her lifelong commitment to helping others. At the April 29 ceremony in the Great Hall of the Massachusetts State House, Paula was honored as an Unsung Heroine for her outstanding contributions to the community.

While feeling trapped in an abusive marriage and struggling to provide for her and her daughter, Paula made a promise that if she was able to escape the relationship, she would always give back and help others. Since then, Paula has dedicated her life to the betterment of those in need.

“Unsung Heroines are women who don’t always make the news, but truly make a difference,” MCSW chairman Victoria Budson stated. “They are the women who use their time, talent, and enthusiasm to enrich the lives of others and make a difference in their neighborhoods, cities, and towns. They are mentors, volunteers, and innovators who do what needs to be done without expectations of recognition or gratitude. These women are the glue that keeps a community together.”

An avid volunteer for the Red Cross, Paula has been a first responder, traveling to help those in need across the country. She was in Boston for the recent tragic explosions and attended the memorial service for the victims of the bombing attacks, where she had the honor of meeting President Obama. After Hurricane Sandy, Paula aided flood victims in New York. During the March floods in 2011, she helped to organize a “Day of Caring”, bringing volunteers together and obtaining donations of food and building materials to assist 15 local families in making emergency repairs to their homes.

Paula’s help for others extends to her professional life, as well as her volunteer work. She is a dedicated member of the Fall River staff at FHR, a nonprofit behavioral healthcare agency. She explains that working at FHR, an organization that provides clinical and supportive services to individuals recovering from mental illness and addictions, enables her to continue to give back to help those in her community. Through aiding consumers in learning daily living skills, Paula shares that it is an incredible feeling to be able to instill in others the ability to gain personal independence.

“While working with Paula, it has been evident how much she sincerely cares for the consumers we work to serve,” said Hallie Riggs, FHR Fall River Team Leader/Director. “She is positive, motivating, and an advocate in the truest sense of the word. FHR is lucky to have her as part of our team.”

When asked what she hopes to pass on to consumers, she replied, “I hope the individuals that FHR serves understand that you can always give back to the community. No matter what challenge or disability you may be facing, you can always be of help to others.”

To learn more about the programs and community initiatives of Fellowship Health Resources in Fall River, please contact Regional Director Denise Silvia at 508-677-0404.