By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The head of the local Red Cross is stepping down, effective October 19.

Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes says she’s given a lot of thought to her decision to leave the Red Cross, even as it coordinates help for four major hurricanes.

“There is absolutely no good time to leave an organization that is such an integral part of the community,” said Cardwell.

The 61-year-old former Common Pleas Judge has been CEO of the American Red Cross’s Eastern Pennsylvania Region for six and a half years.

“Whatever I do next — whichever offer I accept, it will be one that lets me continue to make a difference in Philadelphia,” said Cardwell.

Hughes says the time is right, because a strong team is in place to continue the Red Cross’s work.

Hughes says she’s most proud of a new program to help seniors prepare for disaster, and expanding a leadership camp for kids.