Sharon Murrill, Business Officer Supervisor for the Alabama Power Company Theodore office, lives in Wilmer, but does most of her volunteer work in the Theodore/Tillman's Corner area and in Mobile.
Murrill is a board member of the SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce, a member of Tillman's Corner Lions Club and Chair of the Mobile County HIPPY Council. She participates in the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Chamber Chase, helps with Relay for Life and is involved in Alabama Power Company's service organization, APSO (of which she says, "I feel fortunate to work for a company that allows, encourages and supports our community involvement.)
Below, she explains a little of how she became a community volunteer and what her volunteerism entails:
"My volunteering efforts started when I became involved with United Way a number of years ago and served on the planning committee for the United Way Day of Caring. I have also served as the Chairperson of the Day of Caring for Alabama Power Service Organization for many years.
"Through this special day, we developed a partnership with Wilmer Hall, a local long-term residential home for children who cannot live with their natural parents. Working with this agency and seeing the impact they have on children's lives really pulled at my heart strings. Our partnership has grown into a true friendship and our organization has embraced the children and staff and feel we truly make a difference with all of our volunteer efforts from cleaning yards to purchasing Christmas efforts (items.)
"Recently," Murrill said, "we have also embraced Mulherin Home, a home for individuals, children
and adults with developmental disabilities. We have hosted some of their residents at a Bay Bears game and organized a birthday party for one of their residents. This is also a wonderful Agency that provides a tremendous service for our community."
Murrill explained that the "Chamber Chase" in which she participates is a campaign to solicit new members for the Mobile Chamber and to seek sponsorships for Chamber events. "This helps raise funds for the Chamber so they can pursue new businesses to come to our area and will ensure continued success as they continue to improve the region's business climate," she said.
HIPPY is the acronym for Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters. Murrill is chair of this organization whose mission is to send parent educators into homes of preschoolers and share a program each week with their parents so that they can educate their children. "This program is dedicated to empowering parents to view themselves as the primary educators of their children--teaching the joy of learning," she said.
With the SouthWest Mobile County Chamber of Commerce, Murrill may be seen manning a booth at the annual Business Expo, entertaining children at Kids' Day or serving up pancakes to the hundreds of parents and children who have Breakfast With Santa every December. She helps wherever she's needed with Relay for Life and supports the projects of Tillman's Corner Lions Club.
As to how she feels about volunteering, Murrill said: "For me, volunteering provides such a different perspective to my life and makes me a more balanced person. It makes me so appreciative for the daily blessings I receive and I feel very strongly that I should give back to my community to those who are less fortunate. Every time I leave a volunteer event, I always feel that I receive more than those I am helping. Being able to volunteer is a true blessing to me and it's always better to give than to receive."
And to those who would like to give of themselves as volunteers but may be shy or just not know how to go about making a contact, Murrill said, "There are so many needs in all of our communities and agencies are constantly looking for volunteers. I'm sure United Way would be more than happy to put
individuals in contact with agencies who need volunteers. If all else fails, stop by my office," she said; "I'm sure we can find for anyone who wants to volunteer." And if they do take that step and find their volunteer niche, "You'll be so glad you did," Murrill said.
Murrill is married to Chuck Murrill and has a daughter, Kelly Byerly, "of whom I am extremely proud," she said. And one more thing: It's never too late to pursue a dream or a calling, to which Murrill can attest. "I have always been a late bloomer," she said. "I started to college, for the first time, at the age of 44, and started running at the age of 50. I can't wait to see what I do crazy in my 60's!"