For more than 20 years, The Center for Family Support (CFS) opened Group Homes in the state of New Jersey. Their mission is committed to providing support and assistance to individuals with developmental and related disabilities, and to the family members who care for them. This year we celebrate a team member that has reached a significant milestone with the company working her twentieth year with CFS.
In 1998, Sharon Davis began working as a Direct Care Counselor for the Elmwood Park Group Home. She started as their part-time staff working Saturday and Sunday on the 7am to 3pm shift. Her Manager at the time, Valerie Bowen-Townes stated “It was discovered early on in her career that she was an asset and impeccable team player. She was the go to staff for her coworkers and managers.” From her hard work and dedication, Sharon was promoted to their full-time position.
Towards the beginning of her career she offered her assistance and time and covered open shifts doing anything needed. Rain or Snow didn’t keep her away as she was the helping hand to be counted on. Valerie also mentioned how Sharon would love to go on outings like vacations or even something as simple as the local club so one of the individuals could feel the music as that individual was hearing impaired.
Sharon’s dedication continues for the Individuals she worked with at Elmwood Park Group Home. Due to a lack of transportation and her love for her job, Sharon relocation to Elmwood Park, NJ. She lived for about 2 years so that she would be able to get to her full time 3pm-11pm shift without any complications. She later became the full time overnight and moved back to her hometown in Essex County NJ. She would leave her house at 7pm take 3 buses and then walk the remaining ½ mile to the Group home, only to arrive at 9:45pm so that she would be on time to clock in at 11pm.
Sharon takes the initiative and takes extra responsibilities without any hesitation. She fills in for open shifts when needed at the Nutley Group Home, New Milford and Balmoral Group Home. Everywhere she has worked, her supervisors have the same sentiments about her. Donna Vandyke (Manger of Nutley and Bloomfield Group Homes) says that this is Sharon’s passion that she has a huge heart, she is dedicated, and the care she has for the individuals is exemplary. And, they feel the same way towards her. Marlene Dawson (Manager of New Milford Group Home) said that Sharon worked all shifts for her, and that she was very dependable and a really great person.
After working at the Elmwood Park Group Home for seventeen years, Sharon transferred to the Union Autism Day Program in 2015. Sharon misses seeing the individuals at Elmwood Park, and she always looks forward to seeing them at CFS functions. Currently, she doesn’t have a car and she takes the bus to and from work, further proving her dedication to her commitments. John Gichuri (Program Supervisor) says that she is usually the first person at work and the last person to leave.
This past September, she was employee of the month for overwhelming hard work. During the interview, Sharon was asked, “What advice do she has for new staff applying to CFS?” She said, “You have to love what you do,” and she loves her job and the people she cares for on a daily basis. She says that you have to take things with stride, one moment at a time in some cases. She said with this job at CFS, compassion toward the people we care for is stronger than the desire for money, further proving her great admiration toward her job here at CFS. She truly is an inspiration to staff, both new and old.
Thank you for all you have done for the Center for Family Support during your years of service and your ongoing commitment to their success.