Nov 16 - Glenside Interservice Council Silent Auction and Distinguished Community Service Award Banquet
The 58th Annual Award Presentation event was once again held at Manufacturer's Country Club in Fort Washington, PA. The Silent Auction raised over $800 for Hurricane Relief efforts by the Red Cross. The Keynote Speaker was Rotary District 7450 Assistant District Governor Matt Breidenstein, who is a Disaster Programs Specialist. Matt presented a slide slow that summarizes the work being done by the Red Cross - and then needed to run off to help a local family whose home had just burnt down. The Distinguished Community Service Award this year was presented to Martha and Paul Sharkey.
In July 2010, Martha and Paul Sharkey of Wyndmoor, were thrilled to learn they were pregnant and starting a family. A few weeks later, they discovered their new family would be growing by two, not one. Martha was pregnant with twins. Their identical twin girls were due in March 2011. The pregnancy was moving along as planned until November 2010. The Sharkey’s lives changed forever when Claire Josephine and Mary Gladys arrived over 16 weeks early on November 14, 2010.
In memory of Mary and in honor of Claire, the Sharkeys founded “Today is a Good Day” in 2014. The mission of Today Is a Good Day is to provide personal, spiritual, and financial support to families of premature babies during their time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Through TODAY is a Good Day, the Sharkeys have provided “One Day at a Time” bracelets to the Abington NICU to offer parents. Paul and Martha also stress the importance of writing in a journal on a regular basis. They wrote in a journal every day to keep track of Claire’s good and bad days, notes from the doctors, and observations during their stay in the NICU. The journal provided a great outlet for emotions, information, and more. Therefore, the Sharkeys also provide journals for families traveling through the NICU.
They are currently working on gift certificates from local restaurants for parents to enjoy a night out to dinner. It is important for parents to continue to have some sort of normalcy in their lives during the NICU journey. Going out to dinner during the nurse shift change or on a Saturday night is a good way to reconnect.
The Sharkeys also host regular parent events at the NICU to speak with parents about their journey. When possible, they bring Claire to give the parents hope for their premature child. The Sharkeys look forward to growing TODAY is a Good Day and partnering with other organizations in the future to provide helpful services to parents impacted by premature birth. These services include SEPTA passes, cleaning services, etc.