Newton resident and advocate joins Sharing Network board Sandy Erwin, a long-time volunteer for non-profits
By Laurie Gordon NEWTON — Sandy Erwin knows about making a difference. "Saving lives is a compelling mission," the Newton resident said. Erwin, a former assistant director of the NJ Sharing Network Foundation, was recently appointed to the foundation's Board of Trustees. Hers was one of the foundation's strategic appointments aimed at better fulfilling the organization’s mission of saving lives through organ and tissue donation. Now retired, Erwin has continued to volunteer, She has had a long, successful career in the nonprofit sector. She began with Domestic Abuse Services, Inc. (DASI) in Newton and the County of Sussex as the Program Development Specialist. She then transitioned to the United Way of Greater Union County where she served in various positions over 15 years including Director of Allocations and Agency Relations, Director of Community Impact and Chief Operating Officer. After serving as the Executive Director of the Union County Performing Arts Center, Erwin joined NJ Sharing Network as Assistant Director of the Foundation. In this role, she helped to develop and direct the organization’s public affairs strategies, oversaw key foundation activities, and grew the volunteer program. “My time at DASI was a part time administrative position,” Erwin said. “I strongly support the mission of DASI and I was able to provide limited support as this new organization was developed not long after I moved to Sussex County.” She added, “I have developed new programs at all of the organizations for which I worked. Working at the County of Sussex in the Department of Human Services would provide an opportunity to work with all of the human services organizations in the county. When a position became available at the County, I was eager to embrace that opportunity.” “United Way was one organization with which I worked during my tenure at the County of Sussex. I was impressed with their accomplishments,” Erwin said. “When the opportunity arose, I enthusiastically joined the team.” Erwin moved to Hampton Township in Sussex County in 1979 and later to Newton. She said that both herself and her husband grew up in Morris County and wanted to settle in a more rural location. Erwin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Monmouth University and Graduate Credits in Education from Kean University. Of the NJ Sharing Network, Erwin said, “Twenty years ago a friend was placed on the organ transplant waiting list. While he passed away prior to receiving his transplant, that began my interest in transplantation. When a position at NJSN was announced, I was delighted to be selected to join the team.” She added, “I loved working at NJ Sharing Network. Since retiring, I have valued my volunteer time with the organization. I am honored to be a member of the Foundation Board now, one member of a dedicated group of individuals.” The Foundation Board of Trustees at NJ Sharing Network continues to create strategic initiatives to support the Foundation’s mission of increasing the number of lives saved through innovative transplant research, family support, public awareness and education about the life-saving benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. It is comprised of a diverse group of individuals from both private and public sectors, many of whom have been touched by donation and transplantation. “[Erwin] is a valued member of our NJ Sharing Network family for all she has done and continues to do for the organization,” said Elisse Glennon Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of NJ Sharing Network and Executive Director of the Foundation. “Her experience and insight have helped our Foundation grow and we are happy to welcome her to the Board of Trustees.” To date, there are 115,000 people waiting for a transplant and 20 die each day while waiting, but one organ donor can save eight lives and one tissue donor can restore health to over 75 people. In New Jersey, there are nearly 4,000 people on the waiting list – 49 of whom live in Sussex County - and one person dies every three days waiting. New Jersey residents can help save lives by registering as organ and tissue donors at www.NJSharingNetwork.org, having a conversation with family and friends and joining NJ Sharing Network at its upcoming events.