Honorary Grand Marshall’s Paul and Martha Sharkey
Martha & Paul Sharkey are the Founders of Today is a Good Day, a non-profit providing personal and financial support for families with babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Martha and Paul founded Today is a Good Day in honor of their daughter, Claire, and in memory of their daughter, Mary. They welcomed their identical twin girls at just 23 weeks and 5 days on November 14, 2010. Their daughters were due in March 2011. Claire weighed 1lb. 2oz. Mary weighed 1lb. 4oz. Mary lived for only two weeks before passing away due to complications from her premature birth. Claire beat incredible odds and came home after 103 days in the NICU at Abington Hospital!
Following their extended stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the Sharkeys recognized a significant gap in care for parents and families navigating the NICU journey. They founded Today is a Good Day to fill this gap and support families.
Martha and Paul are passionate about helping communities and people grow and persevere, especially during challenging times. They have advanced the mission of Today is a Good Day and expanded the reach of the organization to the Tri-State area over the past 5 years. The organization currently partners with Abington Hospital, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Delaware County Memorial Hospital, Einstein Medical Center Montgomery, Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Virtua Hospital, and Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House adjacent to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Programming for hospital partners includes care packages for families, “Listening Sessions” with current families navigating the NICU journey, direct financial support grant programs for families in need, and an online community of support – the Philly Preemie Parent Network. In addition to programs within the hospitals, Today is a Good Day sends care packages upon request across the country and internationally.
Prior to focusing fully on advancing the mission of Today is a Good Day, Martha served in several non-profit leadership roles, including Executive Director of the Chestnut Hill Business District and Assistant Director of Corporate Sponsorship for The Franklin Institute. She has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector, including event management and fundraising. She also hosts corporate social responsibility projects with local and national companies. Martha holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications from the Pennsylvania State University.
Paul joined UnitedHealthcare in 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to his current role, Paul worked as a Small Business and Key Accounts Account Executive responsible for selling the value of UnitedHealthcare’s medical, specialty benefits, and stop loss insurance to groups with 1 to 3,000 eligible employees. Prior to UnitedHealthcare, he worked for a regional health insurance brokerage firm in suburban Philadelphia and two institutions of higher education. Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing & International Business from The Pennsylvania State University.
Martha and Paul live in Wyndmoor with their daughters, Claire and Martha Rose.