During the school year at the corner of Danz and University Avenue, you’ll find a crossing guard who comes to the intersection with a smile everday. No matter if there’s rain, sleet or snow in the forecast, Mary Ann Renier will be there with her stop sign and fluorescent yellow jacket.
She wasn’t always smiling as big as she does now though. In 2012, her husband Ron was diagnosed with cancer.
“We did everything together,” Renier said of her husband of 23 years. “He fought so hard.”
Ron’s fight would end in 2015 when he passed away. Things didn’t get much better from there either.
“Two days later, I lost my sister to an unexpected heart attack. She was my last surviving sibling,” she said.
Feeling down and not knowing where to turn, a friend came to Mary Ann with a newspaper ad for crossing guards in Green Bay.
“She said why don’t you try that and I thought, ‘well that would be fun because I love the kids,'” Renier said.
She got the job and instantly knew it was the right choice after being out on the corner for the first time.
“This is it,” she said. “This is what I want to do.”
However, when school’s out for summer, and there’s no kids to cross, Mary Ann knew she had to keep busy. That’s when she discovered Uber.
“Took my first ride and immediately knew that I was going to love it.”
She loves it so much, that she documents each ride in a journal with the date and a little description.
From the loss of her husband and sister, to helping kids, to transporting complete strangers, Mary Ann lives by her motto.
“There’s a reason for everything. God has a plan,” she said.
Maybe we can all learn something from Mary Ann’s experience.
“You can’t give up hope,” she said. “There is so much ahead in your life that you have no idea about. All of a sudden, it just appears on maybe the worst day that youre having.”