BATON ROUGE, LA (LOCAL33) (FOX44) – When disaster strikes shes on the front line lending a helping hand. See how Stephanie Wagner’s passion for volunteering turned into a rewarding career.
“The people of Louisiana are incredibly resilient.”
Here in Louisiana we are no stranger to hardship.
“The 2016 floods for us may have been a couple of years ago, but for those of us who were impacted it’s right here still. It’s something that is still traumatizing.”
When disaster strikes there is always a friendly face waiting to help you in your time of need.
“I do think we’re resilient, I do think we bounce back, but I think that’s because of the support.”
And for many in Baton Rouge, that person is Stephanie Wagner.
“For me, getting to tell the story and really interact with folks and help to get them from the worst day of their life into that recovery phase is…there’s nothing better,” Wagner said.
Wagner is the Regional Director of Communication and Marketing for the Red Cross.
“This position I’m in now as Communications Director of Marketing is truly my dream job. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
A dream that started with a simple act of kindness.
“I was down in New Orleans the weekend the floods hit. On my way back up I stopped at Lamar Dixon to help at the shelter and basically never left.”
Little did she know, that first volunteer experience would kick start a lifelong career.
“It just kinda opened my eyes. And despite the long hours, and many days of travel, and all of the different things I see and interact with on a daily basis, I mean, it is the absolutely most rewarding thing to be able to support a non-profit.”
Each day with the Red Cross is a new adventure.
“I literally have a go bag. I have a go bag in my car and at my house to where, particularly during hurricane season, when I could get asked to up and get deployed to anywhere in the country that has been impacted by a major disaster. I have to be ready for that.”
But no matter the situation, it’s the people that makes her job worthwhile.
“Just walking through these areas that it wasn’t even recognizable. There were people that were just positive and hopeful. And knowing that in their worst days they were so compassionate and that they were true humanitarians as well, made me feel like what we were doing was making a true impact, and that was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”