Providing solutions for the most fragile


Volunteer of the Year Award recipient Tiffany Deneaux (second from right) with Vincent Valenzuela (left), Alzinia Pailin (second from left), and John Ruiz (right).

Tiffany Deneaux first volunteered for the Red Cross in 2017 during the Tubbs Fire after her local YMCA in Marin was converted into a shelter for the fire victims. In two short years, she’s deployed several times and stepped into leadership roles. For this commitment and vigor, Tiffany received the 2019 Marin County Volunteer of the Year.

“[During Tubbs,] I worked in the warehouse. I got in with the planning department and got to see them in action…it just kind of caught me,” explains Deneaux. “The people seemed extremely dedicated and seemed very idealistic and very much in support of the community.” 

Encouraged by that first volunteer experience, Deneaux fully committed to the Red Cross when the Mendocino Complex fires arose, opting to deploy and work at a shelter location for two weeks at a time. “From there on I kept deploying, maybe eight or ten times (since),” notes Deneaux.

With regards to her recent recognition, Deneaux however, is not one to bask in awards; rather, she is keen to continue helping and focus on current tasks at hand. With a background in Software Engineering Management, Deneaux utilizes her talents of organizing and problem solving through her volunteerism.

“Tiffany is a team builder who has increased the capacity of our Mass Care program in Marin County and has provided excellent leadership in developing policy and best practices for managing animals in shelters,” says Eva Marquez, the Volunteer and Youth Services Manager for the Red Cross in the county. “We are grateful for Tiffany’s service, and she is very deserving of the highest Marin County volunteer award.”

What does it mean to you to win this award?

We have other people in Marin County that are doing some fantastic work. I guess it didn’t even cross my mind that I would get any recognition for this. It’s wonderful to be appreciated by your fellow Red Crossers.

Why do you continue to volunteer?

It’s very important to have the community supporting the most fragile people in our society, so getting out there and supporting those shelters is important. Working at the regional level allows me to promote that as a citizen in your county, you can participate within the Red Cross, be a shelter worker, and help give back to our more fragile crowd.

Do you have any standout moments from your volunteering?

It’s hard not to look at people that have Dementia and Alzheimers that are being helped within the shelters…it’s just constantly a huge empathetic burden. It’s absolutely wonderful to provide solutions for people.

What are you currently working on for the Red Cross?

I’m just starting on our National Trailer Project. Maybe we can get a lot of influence from our region into formulating what those supplies should be as a standard across the nation … [the Red Cross is] standard[izing] the contents inside our shelter trailers across the region. It fits either fifty-five clients or a hundred clients. National is going to be doing the same thing at either twenty-five, fifty, one hundred, or two hundred clients within the trailer.”

What do these trailers do?

Marin County has seven trailers that are moveable and parked around the county, so if we open up a shelter logistics goes over with a truck and brings one to the shelter and that’s all the supplies – it has the signage, the cots, the blankets.

Sounds like you have a lot on your plate, are you planning to continue deploying for weeks at a time as a shelter volunteer?


And that is exactly why she deserves this recognition and more.

Sarah Ward is a volunteer writer with the Northern California Coastal Region.