When Sharon found the Repurpose Project back in the summer of 2013, she held the highpressure position of clinic manager at Shands hospital; she describes RP as opposite of her life back then, “…you know, panty hose, high heels. At that point I hadn’t yet any place to grow my creative side.” She was late for her first volunteer shift, an incident which deeply perturbed her, and her alone, “At the hospital, if you’re five minutes late…(she mimicked the Throat Slice)!” Upon arriving, she apologized profusely to Sarah Goff (RP co-founder), ”Sarah just shrugged and looked at me like ‘What’s the big deal?’”
Since then, we’ve come to call Sharon our Repurpose Angel; to this moniker, I imagine she’d give us one of her famous cackles…but it’s true! Sharon has a knack for showing up just when and where we need her, a habit which follows her wherever she goes, “I don’t have to go out looking for projects, they fall into my lap!” From what I’ve seen of Sharon, ‘fall into my lap’ really just means she is someone others can rely on, the kind of rare person who picks up the ball when another drops it, before it even hits the ground.
In 2014, when the Repurpose Project moved from South Main to our current location on NE 23RD avenue, Sharon’s hard work and willingness to show up and help out in whichever way the day called for most made life a lot easier during what Sarah calls, “The most stressed time in RP history.” Sarah continued with a long list of why Sharon kicks butt and has wings, “She was the one who made the connection at Central Florida Office Plus and got us our amazingly useful shelving. When my baby had a fever of 105 and pneumonia during our Fall Trash Festival, she was there saying, ‘Go to the hospital…don’t worry about this’, and then spent the whole night at the register.” Sharon went as far as saying she feels like she should pay RP to be there, to which I’m like, “Sharon. Come on. You’re laying it on pretty thick.” Her mischievous eyes widened, “But it’s true! (Volunteering at RP) is therapy!”
We’ve established her angelics, but did you know she’s also hilarious? Sharon has the uncanny ability to be both sardonic and nurturing, simultaneously. When I caught the flu last week, who did I call? Yep. Sharon to the rescue. When she called later that day to check on me, I didn’t answer (probably too busy dry heaving); so she left me a voicemail. Apparently she didn’t appreciate being told to be “articulate”, as my voicemail prompt tongue-in-cheek requests of my callers; here’s the gist of her message: “Bite me. I care about you, are you feeling better? Okay, bye. Bite me!” Before working with Shand’s, Sharon was the clinic manager at Planned Parenthood for an entire decade. She knows the value of a good sense of humor.
Sharon is just really danged good at being there.
And we love her. Sharon, thank you.
We wouldn’t be the same without you.
Thank you to every single one of our volunteers, past, present, and future. Even if you came in for just one day, way back when…you made a difference to us. We have a tremendous amount of work to do, and I’ll be darned if it isn’t the good work! The more, the merrier. Come on in and spend a day with us; you will make some true friends, you’ll play with really cool stuff, and we might even write articles about you.