Q & A with OceanFirst’s WaveMaker of the Month – Sharon DanielsonJanuary 2, 2020
We’re pleased to highlight our OceanFirst Bank colleagues who are making a difference with the Foundation’s nonprofit community partners – we call them the “WaveMakers” and they are extraordinary leaders and volunteers.
How long have you been a member of the OceanFirst team?
In March it will be 32 years.
Tell us about your favorite volunteer activities.
I have been involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma for 18 years and I am the Captain of the Orion’s Hope team that participates and raises funds for the Annual Light the Night Walk to find a cure for blood cancers. I am also involved in other organizations for pediatric cancer, Valerie Fund and Ocean of Love.
What motivates you to stay involved and give back through volunteering?
My daughter Orion Hope was diagnosed at 8 months old with Infant Lymphoblastic Leukemia and went through 2 ½ years of treatment. She is now 19 and doing well. I would like to help to find a cure for pediatric cancer, so no parent ever has to see their child go through the journey of cancer treatment.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
Working at OFB and spending time with my family; my husband Kirk, daughter Orion, and twin sons Kyle and Noah and my dog Willow. We love to go to Disney.
What aspects of your work are you most passionate about?
I love working for OFB. It is truly a part of me, and I love to make positive contributions that help improve the customer experience and assist with the continued success of the Bank. As far as volunteering, there is no better way to feel good than to help others and it is never lost on me that I am so blessed that my daughter is doing well. I have friends that have lost their children and I will continue to do what I can to help find a cure.
Who inspires you? Why ?
My daughter. The strength she had at such a young age to get through her illness was amazing to watch and she has grown up to be a smart and wonderful young woman.
What experience has been most impactful for you?
It would be my daughter’s illness. Although it was the hardest time of my life, I learned to appreciate the little things that are the biggest things, such as: time with those we love and cherishing every minute.
What has been you’re favorite volunteer activity – and why?
Being the team captain of the Orion’s Hope Team for 18 years. The Light the Night Walk is always a night in October, and you carry illuminated balloons, red for supporters, white for survivors, and gold for those lost. It is a beautiful sight to see the balloons light up at night and to hear my daughters name being mentioned in the Survivor Circle. I like to think that the money we have helped to raise over the past 18 years is helping to find a cure.