New director looks to promote SHARE

A desire to serve and help others prompted Jonathan Campbell to take on the post of executive director of SHARE.
SHARE, which stands for Sharing Hands a Respite Experience, a nonprofit organization dedicated to caring for families where there are children with special needs. The organization was founded by Tom Jones, who recently retired.
Campbell has been with SHARE for about two months.
He came to the Permian Basin from Austin where he most recently led a charity outreach program empowering teams of individuals into a lifestyle of service. His expertise includes teambuilding, strategic planning, speaking, writing, and community outreach. Campbell is well versed in servant leadership and has experience working to overcome community challenges. His passion is caring for those who need it most, a news release said.
The appeal of coming to SHARE was a chance to make a difference and provide community for families who need it.
“It’s been my experience for people who face unique challenges in life, community support, the feeling of not being alone, the feeling of having someone who understands those are the biggest things that I’ve found that are helpful to people,” Campbell said.
A native of Grafton, N.D., Campbell earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fla., and a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, mostly through distance learning. He was in Austin for the past six years as director of social outreach at St. John Neumann Catholic Church.
“I was working in sales right out of college about 15 years ago and enjoyed it, but I just enjoyed serving at my church more so I wanted to make that my career path and so I did,” Campbell said.
His goal at SHARE is to increase awareness 100-fold.
“We have an amazing treasure here that’s kind of buried sometimes,” Campbell said. “A lot of people don’t know about us, so just to really increase awareness about SHARE — what we offer and who we serve.”
He said he tries to get people to put themselves in others’ shoes.
“For people who are parents, you know the challenges and struggles of just being a parent especially in these times when we’re all boarded up indoors. Now imagine that being your lifestyle. You have a child who you have to care for the vast majority of your time, of your life and potentially for the rest of your life so you need rest. You need community around you to support you, so that’s what we do,” Campbell added.
SHARE has seven full-time employees and about 150 volunteers. It offers services mainly in Odessa and Midland, but has some families in Big Spring.
“… But if anyone within driving distance wants our services, we’ll definitely provide them,” Campbell said.
Normally, parents drop their children off and SHARE cares for them and provides activities while the parents can have some time away.
“… That’s not happening right now, but we’re still providing all of our support groups online for parents and siblings. We’re doing a lot of holiday celebrations, social distance style. Santa’s delivering gifts these next two weekends (he said the week of Nov. 30) to families, to their doors. We had a Halloween trunk or treat; we did a big Fiddlesticks family event out at Fiddlesticks Farms, stuff like that where we can maintain social distance but still have events that are helpful for families. We’re also doing some case management and emergency financial assistance. Some of our families are really struggling right now because of lack of employment … We’re helping them out,” Campbell said.
The assistance piece is new, he noted.
“It’s something that we’re really enjoying. It’s something that, post pandemic, we’re looking at expanding as well.
“We don’t know exactly how it’s going to look, or even what’s going to happen, but we’re open to it. We’ll keep trucking and see what happens,” Campbell said.
A lot of what SHARE would normally do is on hold at the moment, but Jones, the former executive director, is teaching Campbell about them.
Campbell said Jones has been a source of support for him.
“He’s a mentor type, for sure. He’s helping me for the first couple of months and he’s going to step away for a little bit before maybe being involved in the future; being someone that we can all go to, but he’s very helpful,” Campbell said.
Asked if taking over from the founder of an organization is somewhat intimidating, Campbell acknowledged that it is.
“But it’s a good challenge and I like a good challenge …,” Campbell said.
Rachael Reinert, SHARE’s director of marketing and communications, said Campbell’s heart for outreach is evident.
“Jonathan has been at SHARE for a few short months but has made a huge effort to connect with special families and understand their struggles. His passion and energy are infectious. Jonathan is the kind of person you always want on your team, no matter the task at hand. He appreciates SHARE’s legacy and the fact that he is standing on the shoulders of those before who him who worked to make SHARE what it is today,” Reinert said in an email.
“Additionally, it is his personal mission to lead SHARE into this next phase of growth, and help more people understand why SHARE’s services are vital,” she added.
Campbell and his wife, Emaan have two children. She is the general manager of the Hotel Settles in Big Spring.
He added that his background in social outreach work will help with his work with SHARE.
“People need a lot of support right now. There’s a lot of people out there who are hurting and people who face unique challenges. They just need to know that we’re here for them and that’s what I tried to do in my career in ministry and that’s what I will continue to do here,” Campbell said.
He added that he would like to issue a call to action.
“If you know of any families who have children with special needs, definitely talk to them about SHARE and refer them on. A lot of people don’t know about us, so we just want to let people know who we are and what we do. If you know someone that has that lifestyle and that challenge, send them our way,” Campbell said.