Sharron Newtons calling for being a nurse became more than a 50-year career, but it really is a source of love and volunteerism that she has shared both around the world and at home.
Newton, 70, grew up living across the globe, thanks to her fathers’s career in the U.S. Air Force. She attended high schools in Virginia, Spain and Italy and graduated from high school in Rome. But she first combined a love of healthcare and volunteering as a teenage cake cleaner and has been living that passion ever since.
I learned early on that you meet such wonderful people who do volunteer work. They are people from all walks of life and are simply the most caring and wonderful people ever, she said.
Newton said he feels blessed to be able to do what fills my heart, and that means helping others feel cared for.
The way she has helped care for others includes working at Shriners Children’s Hospital, helping to develop nursing criteria for inpatient care, helping with operations in third world countries, teaching disabled people how to ski, and finally, retirement to give birth Vaccine for covid19.
Sharron and Bill Newton, her 48-year-old husband, moved to Slidell from the San Francisco area. She said billing work in the insurance industry displaced them almost as much as when she was a child. But in the 1970s, she was a nursing student at Louisiana State University, and so she and Bill, a native of New Orleans, were thrilled in 2004 to return to the state with Retirement Bills, where they could were among friends and old family.
As a Rotarian in California, Newton said the first thing he did when he arrived in Slidell was to quickly join the Slidell Northshore Rotary Club.
Then, within a year, Hurricane Katrina struck, destroying the community that Newton had just begun to know and love. The Newtons rolled up their sleeves and jumped into the volunteer effort, where they have been strong ever since.
Newton has been president of the Slidell Heritage Festival; is a past president of Inner Wheel, a service organization for women started as a subsidiary of Rotary International; works with Habit For Humanity East St. Tammany and heads the Ruthless Women-Building Rosies. She is a board member of the Child Care Center at Rain St. Tammany Rainbow; has been part of Community Christian Concern and PEO, a women’s organization that provides financial support for women in education. She is now president of Slidell Northshore 2020-2021 Rotary Club.
Newton said she likes to lend a hand to a range of community projects. But she said she is perhaps more proud of the work she has done with the care of the guesthouse and Rotaplast International.
A hospitable nurse for 15 years, Newton said she saw up close the need to work with terminally ill patients and their families. Using the Richard Murphy House in Hammond as a guide, she helped develop the Hospice House in Slidell to provide free care for terminally ill patients.
Most of the hostel is teaching families and giving them support so they know how to care for their loved ones. But the Hospice House is for those who have no one to take care of them, Newton said. The love from hosting care is very close and dear to my heart.
Rotaplast International, which receives support from Rotary Clubs internationally, began in San Francisco in 1996. Its mission is to conduct reconstructive charitable operations with a particular focus on cleft lip and palate and burn deformities. Each year, the nonprofit completes dozens of mission trips, performing anywhere from 100 to 130 operations.
Newton has traveled to India, Africa, the Philippines, Guatemala, and throughout South America for these medical missions. Every trip, she said, has changed lives.
When I get home, people ask oh how was your trip. I say do you really want to know? Because I could talk about them all the time. I learn so much every time. It’s a gift.
Newton was on a mission trip to Rotaplast in February 2020 when he first heard of the coronavirus novel that would hold the world captive just days after it returned. I was on the last trip to go out, she said.
She said the miracle of the Rotaplast mission is not simply performing much-needed operations for those who otherwise would not be able to do them, but that it is an opportunity for Americans to let other people know that we are just like them. We work hand in hand with hospitals and families, she said. It is a PR program for the world.
Newton said she believes everyone has something to offer to everyone else.
I am blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of people’s lives, to help families. From Hospice to Rotaplast to Rotary and Habitat, where I can help those who would not be able to afford housing, she said. But we all have a responsibility to help others. You do not need a lot of money to be a donor.