Story by Sanjanetta Barnes and Maliyah Elahie, American Red Cross Contributors

Logistics Warehouse Supervisor, Susan Manning is one of the many Red Cross volunteers looking to make a difference in the lives of others. “I’ve always wanted to help others and I feel privileged to have this opportunity with the American Red Cross to help those in need. I am touched by our clients and my only hope is that I have been able to touch their lives too,” Manning said.

Considered to be one of the more experienced volunteers, Manning has been with the Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross for roughly ten years and has been on multiple disaster relief efforts.

In 2011, Manning recalls her first disaster relief deployment to help clients recover from the devastating tornado that tore through Joplin, Missouri. According to Manning, “The devastation in Joplin was unbelievable, heartbreaking and hard to describe.” Yet, she remembers it also as a deeply personal experience that taught her how to appreciate what she has. For her, the tornadoes may have uprooted the lives of many residents, but she remembers that despite loss, most people were more concerned for their neighbor’s loss rather than their own. “If people who have suffered so much loss are willing to stay positive and help each other, then I can do the same,” said Manning.

That experience left Joplin feeling that she had made the right choice in becoming a Red Cross volunteer. In fact, she enjoys being behind the scenes helping others so much, she’s a Red Cross advocate in her community of  La Porte, Texas urging others to make time to become a Red Cross volunteer.