Renee Callahan hasn't been with the Red Cross very long, but already she has been part of relief efforts for eleven different natural disasters. Last week she returned from New Jersey where she took part in the massive clean-up efforts from Hurricane Sandy.
Renee joined the Red Cross about a year and a half ago after seeing the devastation left behind from the Joplin tornado. Ultimately, she wasn't sent there, but to another community elsewhere that needed assistance. From that point on, she has traveled many miles and helped numerous communities.
She, and over five thousand Red Cross volunteers, were deployed primarily to New York and New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy. Renee was made 'Bulk Distribution Warehouse Manager,' on this trip, adding to a long list of various activities she has performed in different places. It doesn't matter what role she is placed in because, for her, it's "just knowing that I'm a small piece of a giant puzzle that's out there helping people."
Callahan was also involved in many of the wildfire efforts here and in Colorado this past summer. In fact, some of the most rewarding work she's done was the Squirrel Creek Fire near Laramie. She said that seeing the community and local volunteers come together to help out firefighters made that disaster unique.
Now that she is back, Renee hopes for somewhat of a respite, but says she will go wherever needed at a moments notice.
For now, she will keep busy at their office here in Cheyenne. Local volunteers will be putting on an event in January to recognize first responders of all types. The Red Cross will also be doing a statewide recognition early next year of those who put their lives in danger to protect citizens.