Associate Close-Up: Sharon Yesner
We recently sat down with the Volunteer Services Coordinator at Pitman to learn more about her and her passion for senior care and services . These are her words:
Q: What is your name and position?
A: Sharon Yesner, Volunteer Services Coordinator.
Q: What do you like best about working for United Methodist Communities?
A: Seeing how invested my fellow associates are for our residents, whether it be organizing the Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day programs, or helping with parties in our Tapestries area even though you aren’t in community life but instead in administration and building services!
Q: What makes United Methodist Communities unique?
A: The longevity of my fellow associates, how extremely pet friendly they are. So many residents have cats. One resident has birds and a hermit crab that she got thanks to her grandchildren. She has taken such great care of the hermit crab that it is 5 or 6 years old!
Also, that they are invested in having a full-time volunteer program in their full-service communities. This is a rarity in long-term care.
Q: What does “Abundant Life” mean to you?
A: To live life to its fullest doing the things you enjoy.
Q: What have you learned from working at UMC?
A: As someone of the Jewish faith, I had an opportunity to participate in the Mission trip to learn about the history of the American Methodist Churches and its connections to our homes as a Methodist Faith Based Community. You do not need to be Methodist to reside, volunteer or work in our community. United Methodist Communities is open to all faiths. I enjoy the opportunity to share in the celebration of holidays that I don’t celebrate in my own religion. In fact, every year, I am very much involved in many celebrations as our community prepares to celebrate Christmas.
Q: What has been your proudest moments at UMC?
A: Seeing how volunteers have made such a positive impact on our residents and how positive our volunteers feel about volunteering at our Pitman Community.
Q: What has been your career progression at UMC?
A: I have been the one and only Coordinator of Volunteer Services here at Pitman. The Volunteers Services Program started in November 2006.
Q: Why did you choose senior care and services?
A: The field chose me. While studying Therapeutic Recreation at Temple University, much of my coursework and observations were in Senior Communities. I originally wanted to work with children.
Q: Is there an older adult who had a strong influence on your life?
A: There were 2. Both of my grandmothers who were survivors and accomplished a lot in their lives.
Q: Do you have a prominent memory of your grandmother and/or grandfather?
A: I have many memories. However, remembering the stories my dad’s mom told me when I was young inspired me to get the Best Day of My Life (So Far) for our community. I actually keep a picture of her on my desk.
Q: Do the residents inspire you? Does one resident stand out?
A: Many inspire me.
Q: Where did you grow up? Where else have you lived?
A: Born and raised in Philadelphia. I moved to New Jersey in 2006.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
A: Hanging out with friends, going to the beach, concerts and baseball games (go Phillies), exercising with friends, volunteering specifically with the MS Society and the Alzheimer’s Walk.
Q: What is your favorite family tradition?
A: Thanksgiving at my Aunt’s home.
Q: What are you most grateful for in your life?
A: The love and support of my family and friends.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
A: My first job as a Coordinator of Volunteers was for CARIE’s Ombudsman Program. I am happy that an event that I helped create with the area Activity Directors in Philadelphia has continued for close to 30 years and that I have been able to volunteer for the event a number of times in the past few years.