The Lake Sunapee Region VNA and Hospice has been hosting their annual Women Who Make a Difference luncheon for 17 years. The luncheon celebrates remarkable women in our area who give back to the community in a big way. Callan Rees graciously received the award given to an area high school student at the annual luncheon on Wednesday, May 18, which was held at Colby Sawyer College.
Callan was nominated by Headmaster Derek Tremblay. Tremblay stated, “Callan is an amazing young woman. She always has a smile on her face, and a kind word for both faculty and students. Callan is an integral part of her community and our school.”
Callan has always found ways to serve others. In her freshman and sophomore years she was active in a middle school ministry of her local church, Wellspring Worship Center. She helped run their junior high youth outreach. This bi-monthly commitment allowed her to connect with over 40 junior high students from throughout the Upper Valley. She served as a youth mentor and her responsibilities included running games for the group and serving as a retreat counselor.
Callan is currently serving as the leader of Campus Ministry at MRA. Callan has worked with the Listen Center in White River Junction, VT and is pursuing volunteer opportunities with the RECOVER Store, the Haven and Paddle Power.
Callan has also organized a Support Our Troops Drive. This group sends care packages to soldiers. Under Callan’s leadership, the Mount Royal students raise funds and collect goods that are used to fill care packages that are sent to soldiers.
Under Callan’s leadership, Campus Ministry helps with the “Repurpurse” Drive. This initiative collects care packages for local people in need or who are homeless. Callan organized students to collect used "purses" (back packs, purses, bags) and fill them with necessary items such as personal care, snacks, warm socks, gloves, hats etc. These were distributed to homeless shelters during the winter months.
Callan's vision for the Campus Ministry Team, is that they would support other ministry efforts. When Callan learned that an employee of King Arthur Flour was looking for help to pack up holiday cookies for local food pantries, Callan rallied the Campus Ministry Team. In the end, over 100 dozen cookies were donated by King Arthur, packaged and distributed to local food pantries, and also sent to soldiers in Afghanistan. While King Arthur provided the supplies, it was Callan and her peers who provided the people power to get the goods out.
When not serving others, Callan can be found on the MRA track and field team and is a consistent Honor Roll Student. She is planning to take a few college courses next year, in her senior year, to help jump start her career in a health care related field.
Callan Rees is an example of altruism at its finest. She is a shining example for all teens, many who are preoccupied with themselves. Callan’s vision and beautiful heart allow her to see others first. She uses her strong leadership skills to mobilize her peers around her, providing much needed service to many of our area’s non-profits.