Q&A with Sharon Osborne, CEO of Children’s Home Society of WA:
Giving Hope, Gaining Hope and Helping Children Thrive
Enjoy Lake City (ELC) met with Sharon Osborne, CEO of Children’s Home Society of WA (CHSW) and the Children’s Home Society and Trust Foundation to discuss the work of the agency. CHSW, founded in 1896, is the state’s oldest and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of children and families.
ELC: Where did you grow up and how did you get into social service work?
(Sharon) I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, in the city, not on a horse ranch. My grandfathers were a dairy farmer and a tobacco farmer. I grew up with horses and bourbon. My husband says ‘when I met Sharon I thought surely I’d get a few horses out of it, but I didn’t even get a mule!’
I was raised in a day when little girls didn’t think about what they wanted to do except as a wife, especially in the South. Even at an early age, I knew I would not end up in Kentucky. I had a wonderful, traditional childhood and I was happy, but I knew there was something else I was supposed to do in life. My life changed when I was about 14. There was tremendous rural poverty in Kentucky, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Appalachia. On a school project, we went to eastern Kentucky to help plant strawberries in the fields. I saw poverty in terms of shacks with no running water, but also saw an emotional, intellectual, psychological poverty I had never seen. I was so struck and touched by that. From that point forward, I knew this was my calling. Continue reading “Q&A with Sharon Osborne, CEO of Children’s Home Society of WA”