Faces of NYCM: Sharon DeGristina Provides Medical Services to Remote Villages in Honduras - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Mar 16, 2020

Faces of NYCM: Sharon DeGristina Provides Medical Services to Remote Villages in Honduras

Most people use their vacation time to spend quality time with loved ones, or check off items on their bucket list, like traveling to exotic destinations or taking up new hobbies. But Sharon DeGristina is not most people. Working in NYCM’s Customer Service department, Sharon has a passion for helping people. A passion that led her to spending her most recent vacation in Honduras on a medical mission trip.
“For more than 30 years, I have wanted to be part of a mission trip,” Sharon explained to a member of the Brand Management team leading up to her trip. “I’m passionate about giving back to the community - and it’s my belief that community extends worldwide.”
When approached about joining the trip to Honduras through the Friends of Barnabas Foundation (FOBF), Sharon immediately signed up.
The nature of the trip was to provide medical services to the underprivileged in Honduras. Having raised almost $12,000 through fundraising efforts, the team was able to provide service to 789 people in five short days. Services included distributing vitamins, deworming, providing fluoride, eye clinics, dental aid and tooth extractions.

"I fully enjoyed my time serving in the vision and dental clinics. The interaction with people was a joy.” Sharon said, recollecting her trip.
Aside from fundraising, there was additional prep work that had to be done to make the trip as successful as possible. Sharon explains how prior to the mission trip, her friends helped her collect Acetaminophen, flip flops and cloth diapers -- all valuable commodities in the region Sharon was destined to visit.
“My friend Susan and I were responsible for delivering five of the team’s 30 large duffle bags full of supplies to Honduras. Those bags contained the donated items along with sunglasses and children’s vitamins FOBF mailed to us to bring.”
The donated Acetaminophen was especially appreciated at the Dengue Clinic, where people use the over-the-counter pain killer to cope with the effects of Dengue Fever.
But as fulfilling as the work was - it wasn’t always easy. Sharon’s team - comprised of FOBF staff, Honduran doctors, nurses, Spanish interpreters and ten volunteers - was on the bus daily by 7 am to drive approximately two hours on precarious roads to visit communities located at high elevations in the mountainous terrain.

In addition to medical treatment received, the aided communities also participated in health-related training and educational workshops on nutrition, reproductive health, hygiene, and malaria prevention. A health committee is established in each village to promote the program and a health volunteer is identified, trained and equipped to carry on the role of continuing to promote health and wellness.
When asked about her favorite part of the trip, Sharon had this to say: “The most rewarding part of this experience was the fabulous feeling of truly helping people. Receiving smiles, hugs and kisses on the cheek from people who were truly thankful - that was a bonus!”
When speaking with Sharon about her trip, she kept emphasizing how grateful she was that her current lifestyle and career at NYCM Insurance allowed her the opportunity to be a part of this life-changing experience. “Something I love about NYCM Insurance is how much the company prioritizes work-life balance.” Sharon reflected. “NYCM supports its employees in so many ways, including giving everyone 16 hours of paid volunteer time.”
With her natural affinity for helping people, it’s unsurprising that Sharon also loves her job in Customer Service. “I am afforded the chance to speak with many different individuals daily and share their experiences.”
To learn more about career opportunities available at NYCM Insurance, click here. And to read another story from our Faces of NYCM series, click on the button below.