Volunteer Recruiter & Youth Coordinator Sharon Wenner, of Mt. Laurel, has received Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice’s quarterly award for service excellence.
Wenner said she was “very surprised” to receive the award.
“I’m very humbled,” she said. “I love Samaritan.”
The Dove award is given to Samaritan employees on a quarterly basis for non-management staff. Any employee can be nominated, and achievement or effort has to support one of the group’s cultural tenets: respect, caring, being innovative, showing stewardship, ethical responsiveness, and teamwork.
The recipient has to work for Samaritan for at least six months and can only receive award once every three years.
“It is focused on service excellence,” Wenner, who has been with Samaritan for about three years, said.
“It’s a very special place to me,” she said, noting how Samaritan has taken care of her loved ones, including her mom.
Many years ago, an in-law on Wenner’s sister’s side was ill and used Samaritan. Also, when Wenner’s grandfather got Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), they also used Samaritan.
About a year later her mom took ill with cancer.
“Samaritan took good care of her,” Wenner said, noting the people of Samaritan went out of their way to send the same nurses and health aides to her mom who had been sent to her grandfather for continuity of care and familiar faces.
“I just felt like this was the organization that I really wanted to give back to,” Wenner said. She started volunteering four years ago.
“The most challenging part of what I do is finding folks who truly want to give of their time and their energy to volunteer,” she said.
Wenner said many volunteers are unemployed people who hone skills and network. Some volunteers visit with families, work in office, or check on hospice patients.
And the most rewarding part of what she does?
“The love of the people I work with, knowing that I am doing something for people who are going through similar experiences that I went through and knowing we are doing something on their behalf,” Wenner said.
“Sharon’s unwavering dedication inspires all of us,” Samaritan President & CEO Mary Ann Boccolini said. “Patient and family safety was a major concern during Hurricane Irene.
“Sharon quickly jumped into action and assembled a team of volunteers to come to our administrative office and place check-in calls to each family,” she added. “She coordinated and completed this effort within the same day.”
Wenner coordinates SamariTeens, Samaritan’s teen volunteer program, recruits volunteers throughout Samaritan’s 2,200 square mile service area, and provides community education to church, veteran, and library groups about the benefits of volunteering.
In the two years since Wenner has served as youth coordinator, she has expanded the teen volunteer program from 10 teens to upwards of 45.
Wenner also orchestrated over 150 adult and teen volunteers to help prepare, assemble and deliver 130 Thanksgiving baskets to Samaritan patients and families.
Those interested in volunteering can call 856–552–3235. If your community group would like a presentation about volunteering or Samaritan’s services, please call 856–552–3258.