Celebrating International Women’s Day; Women of the American Red Cross in North Texas

By Taylor Coffelt, staff contributor, Red Cross North Texas Region

Fort Worth Tiffany Circle Luncheon, December 2019

While March, Red Cross Month, is a time to recognize the work of our Red Crossers, today is different. It is International Women’s Day — dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women across the globe.

The American Red Cross would not be able to achieve everything it does without the hard work and dedication of its volunteers and staff. Here are a few examples of the amazing women we have on our team here in North Texas

Ali Chandler – Regional Event Specialist

Ali has been with the Red Cross for two years and says she knew at a young age that she wanted to be involved in her community and “make an impact on the world around her.” In her short time with the organization, she has participated in several Tiffany Circle donor events, Sound the Alarm events (including 2020’s virtual event), and was instrumental in the planning and execution of 2019’s Swing for Relief event.

“I have never been a part of an organization as uplifting as the Red Cross. Despite the chaos of disasters, the environment within this group is calm and positive. I am always blown away by how prepared we are when a disaster strikes,” she said. “The Red Cross truly cares about their volunteers, employees and clients’ growth and well-being. It’s great to be surrounded by so many like-minded humanitarians all working together to help others in need.”

Ali Chandler donating blood at a New Year’s Blood Drive in Dallas.

Robyn Flores – Executive Director Serving the Texas Big Country Chapter

Robyn is a newer member of the Red Cross family, but says she has enjoyed her time with the organization thus far. She recently participated in her first-ever blood drive and successfully completed her first Disaster Response Operation when a large apartment fire struck a community in Abilene.

“It was my first time to see the Red Cross mission in action,” she said after the apartment fire response. “I was able to get to know the clients well–from the first few minutes of the fire to the time they were able to transition into permanent housing. I can’t count the times I was told, ‘I don’t know what we would do without you.’ The Red Cross delivers hope to those in our community when they are at their absolute lowest, and I’m honored to have a small piece in that mission.”

Pranavi Jammulamadugu – Youth Volunteer

Pranavi is a member of our Youth Volunteer group, and holds a seat on our Youth Volunteers Leadership Team as the Onboarding and Orientation Coordinator. She has also recently taken on the role of Biomed Services Onboarding and Training Lead.

She has been a Red Crosser for almost two years and says she decided to become a volunteer simply by reading about us on Google. Pranavi says being a Red Crosser is “such a rewarding experience because you get to meet so many people” just by being involved. She even participated in a blood drive as an ambassador where there was a competition between the Police Department and Fire Department to see whose team could donate the most.

Monika Koenig – Volunteer

Monika is a veteran volunteer, with more than 25 years of Red Cross experience under her belt. From being a Youth Volunteer to a Disaster Action Team member in Germany, to a Hurricane Relief volunteer in Dallas and a Food Distribution Volunteer in Los Angeles, Monika has done it all. She said she’s had fun as a volunteer.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s so rewarding. At the end of the day you always know that you at least changed one person’s life,” she said. “Before they met you, they were in a dark place, but you brought light back into their lives.”

Monika Koenig poses with a Red Cross vehicle.

Renee Posey – Board of Directors Member, Texas South Plains Chapter

Renee has been a Red Crosser for six years and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Texas South Plains Chapter. She has been a part of many Red Cross events, such as the Pillowcase Project and Sound the Alarm, and has been on several volunteer teams, including Volunteer Services and Disaster Action.

She said one of the best parts of being a Red Crosser is “seeing the expression of pure appreciation on the faces of home fire clients and Pillowcase Project students.”

Jeanne Reinelt – Volunteer

As of this month, Jeanne has been a Red Cross volunteer for 11 years. She has been a member of Disaster Action Teams since 2010, including hurricane response teams, and has been doing Client Casework since 2013 and is now the Casework Lead for Dallas.

She says she found out about Disaster Action Teams online and has many strong memories of her time as a team member. “Being a Red Cross Volunteer is a great way to serve the community, get to know great people and grow as a person,” she said.

Julia Sizemore – Volunteer

Being a Red Crosser is in Julia’s blood. Her grandfather was a Field Director overseas and she says it was a lifetime goal of hers to become a part of the Red Cross family. During her four years Julia has helped with countless hurricane responses, including Hurricanes Dorian, Maria and Laura, and has also been a Disaster Action Team member and a part of the Workforce Engagement team. She says being a Red Crosser “is a great way to serve others in their time of need”.

The work of each of these amazing women is nothing short of outstanding, and we continue to appreciate them and every other Red Cross volunteer and staff member.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer, or if you would like to learn more about the work Red Crossers do every day, visit redcross.org/volunteer.

You can be the difference your community needs. Become a Red Crosser today.

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