"I've never seen a community more giving and supportive of people in all different areas. It constantly amazes me."
— Renee Campbell, Holiday Inn of Craig director of sales and marketing and a local volunteer, on the culture of volunteerism that exists in Craig and Moffat County
Renee Campbell, a Hillsdale, Mich., native, said she hadn't spent a minute of her life volunteering to nonprofit agencies before 2006.
Then she moved to Craig.
Geography made all the difference, she said.
"Before I moved to Craig, I had never been involved with the community (I lived in)," said Campbell, director of sales and marketing at the Holiday Inn of Craig. "Now I really enjoy it. I like getting to know people, getting involved in the community. It's just been something I've grown to love."
Campbell, 48, a former advertising manager for the Craig Daily Press, works anywhere from 70 to 80 hours per week managing sales and marketing for the hotel, which includes 152 rooms, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. She spends about 20 hours per month volunteering with various community groups.
A quick look at the resume of organizations she contributes to and it's not hard to see where the time goes.
Campbell currently serves the Craig Rotary Club, and is the president-elect for 2012-13; the Craig Chamber of Commerce Board as its vice president; the Girls to Women organizing committee; Colorado State BBQ Championships steering committee; and the Human Resources Council Allocations Committee.
She's also served stints on the Moffat County Tourism Association Board, the Progress for Craig education committee, Census and Craig Centennial committees, and the Chamber of Commerce ambassadors.
Volunteerism, Campbell said, is an acquired taste, but one hard to let loose of.
"About a year ago, I came to the conclusion that someday I would really love not to work and be able to just volunteer," she said.
"I'm really just amazed (by volunteering). It makes me feel like I'm giving back, like I'm contributing to the community I live in."
In a modesty typical of volunteers who selflessly sacrifice on behalf of others, Campbell isn't prone to self-promotion or boasting about her contributions.
Fortunately, colleagues aren't as bashful when talking about her work.
"She's invaluable," said Len Browning, pastor at The Journey at First Baptist Church and Rotary Club president. "She does whatever needs to be done, she's the first one to volunteer, and she exudes enthusiasm."
"Service Above Self," a Rotary Club motto, describes Campbell and her emphasis on helping others, Browning said.
Service and enthusiasm are also two words Chamber of Commerce Director Christina Oxley used to describe Campbell and her work with the Chamber.
"Renee is unparalleled in what she accomplishes for the organizations she's involved in," Oxley said.
"She never lets us down and it's hard not to appreciate a volunteer who follows through, is dedicated, and brings energy and enthusiasm to everything she's invested in. … I wish I had 20 more like her."
Away from work and volunteering, Campbell is the wife of Jim, an electrician at Twentymile Coal Co., the mother of Ashley, 28, a sales and marketing representative in Adrian, Mich.; Brandon, 26, who works in food service in Hillsdale; Joshua Gordon, 24, a former Daily Press sports reporter who currently works for The Flint Journal in Flint, Mich.; and Jeremiah Gordon, 20, a sophomore at Colorado Mesa University; and stepmother to Aubrey, 15, a freshman at Moffat County High School.
While her current organizational commitments keep her more than occupied, Campbell said there are groups in the community she'd like to serve someday. She's seen the positive impact one of those groups — Bear River Young Life — has had on her own children, Jeremiah and Aubrey.
"I'm very interested in being part of Young Life sometime," she said. "I really believe in what their mission is and what they do to help the kids involved."
For now, however, the current roster of agencies will have to do. After all, it's not as if they lack reward.
Campbell cited two Rotary Club programs in particular as being fulfilling.
As the club's public relations chairwoman, she's tasked with lining up a guest speaker once per month for club meetings. She said guest presentations by the speakers are generally informative to club members and well-received.
Another rewarding program is the club's "Book Buddy" offering, which entails buying books for Moffat County School District second-graders and reading to them. Oh, and taking the students snacks, too. That's a fun part as well, she said.
"I just love the looks on their faces," Campbell said of going into schools as part of "Book Buddy."
Volunteerism, Campbell said she's come to recognize, is the lifeblood of the Craig and Moffat County community, a tradition she's proud to say she's part of.
"I've never seen a community more giving and supportive of people in all different areas," she said. "It constantly amazes me."
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