Meadow Park London

(519) 686-0484 - 1210 Southdale Road East London, Ontario

Sharon Garbutt- Jarlette 2017 Making a Difference Award

Meadow Park celebrates with Sharon Garbutt for making a difference

Meadow Park Long Term Care- London, Ontario

The History of Sharon Garbutt

The oldest of 11 children, Sharon was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1947.  Being the first born, Sharon would be responsible for helping to raise her younger siblings, some of whom still call Sharon ‘mom’. Life was not easy growing up.  With her dad working and her mom busy with the babies, there were always meals to prepare and water had to be carried into the house from a large well and boiled on the wood stove every day for laundry and cooking.
Around 1960, her dad purchased a new home with a restaurant at the front of the house and a 1 pump gas bar in Wallacetown.  To be able to staff the new family business, Sharon was asked by her parents to quit school at age 15.  She would never be paid for working but it was here that she would meet her future husband.
In 1965, Sharon married and together they had 4 lovely daughters - Penny, Carrie, Connie and Nicole.  In 1978, the family moved to Edmonton to start a new life together.   But tragedy struck when Connie was 18 and died of leukemia.  This was followed by a separation after 23 years of marriage. 12 years after the separation, Sharon, Penny, Carrie and Nicole made the decision to move back to Ontario to be closer to family.  Unfortunately, 10 years later, Sharon was diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis and was forced to retire.
Sharon’s strong work ethic and non-stop attitude has translated into extensive volunteering in the community and here at Meadow Park.
In Edmonton, Sharon belonged to the Church of the Nazarene, where she created a ‘Girl’s Caravan’.
She taught girls how to knit and bake cookies.  Back in Ontario, Sharon volunteered at Parkwood Hospital providing one to one visits to patients and reading to them.
On June 30th, 2016, Sharon moved into Meadow Park.  Never letting the dust settle under her feet, she began to help out in any way possible.  It started with putting clothing protectors at each place setting in the dining rooms, followed by visiting with residents who did not have any visitors and bedside visits with residents who were palliative.  Sharon delivers resident mail, greets new residents to the home with a welcome gift and delivers birthday cards personally to each resident on their birthday.   When asked to help get signatures for the Better Senior’s Care initiative, Sharon was unstoppable.  Every staff, visitor, contractor and volunteer who entered the home was asked to sign our petition.  She even went as far as asking police detectives and going to each nursing station at shift change to acquire even more signatures.  In the end, our home secured well over 1,100 signatures.
Sharon says that her Christian faith has helped her through a lot of bad times and struggles.   For all the hard knocks that Sharon had to live with, her compassion and giving nature has never faltered.  Meadow Park is extremely proud to nominate Sharon Garbutt for the Making a Difference Award.

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