Sharee Burry ’15 is a prime example of a woman for and with others. She exemplifies a true St. Bon’s graduate by giving back to her community and spending quality time with those in need of companionship. She began volunteering for various organizations as a student at St. Bon’s and has continued to add to her charitable work as she continues her education. She is currently attending Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador with the hopes of being admitted to the Faculty of Nursing She enjoys singing in the Basilica of St. John the Baptist Church Choir, as she has since she was 9 years old and for which she won the Sister Bellamy Scholarship.
Sharee began volunteering her time at St. Patrick’s Mercy Home as a Grade 11 student in 2013 through St. Bon’s Christian Service Program. Ever since then she has been visiting the same resident, whom has no family or other visitors. Sharee often drops by St. Pat’s to socialize with residents at the Red Rose Cafe and to partake in their Friendly Visits program. Sharee recently represented the St. Pat’s volunteers at the Lieutenant Governemnt House Volunteer Appreciation celebration.
Sharee also spends a great deal of time helping out at the Gathering Place, a local organization which provides many services to those in need. In fact, Sharee would sneak away from St. Bon’s during her lunch and free periods to volunteer. Sharee continues to give her time to The Gathering Place, both as a volunteer and as part of a work placement program, for which she prepares and serves meals, socializes with guests and helps out with laundry and other chores.
Sharee may volunteer wherever she sees a specific need in the community, but she also spends time giving back to Big Brothers Big Sisters as it holds a special significance for her. Sharee lost her dad when she was in elementary school. This program helped her find a Big Sister to help her through the difficult life challenges that come with losing a parent. Sharee was matched with a Big Sister when she was in Grade 6 and they were together for 7 years. The two are still in contact and have formed a bond for life. Sharee currently gives back by sharing her experiences with others through formal talks and by participating in Big Brothers Big Sisters in-school mentoring program. She spends each Friday lunch time mentoring and playing games with a student at a local elementary school in need of a good role model. Sharee feels a particular need to give back to this organization as it was through Big Brothers Big Sisters that she found out about and subsequently was awarded the CIBC Vision Scholarship, valued at $38, 500. This is awarded to a Grade 10 student and paid out for post-secondary tuition and through work placement programs. It is through this scholarship that Sharee was able to receive tuition money for some of her time spent at The Gathering Place and the YMCA.
Sharee’s volunteer work exemplifies the difference we each can make at home. Though it is important that such work be brought across the globe, as Sharee has shown us, it all starts locally .