Etsel Lake is the new Branch Manager of the Saba Red Cross. He has taken on this role with a list of goals, which include re-establishing the visibility of the local branch and a call for new volunteers and board members.
With the help of more volunteers and a revamped board, Lake is confident that the local branch can strengthen its efforts.
“We are trying to get back to the place where we were highly visible in the community,” Lake said. “During carnival or any major event where large crowds are expected to be in attendance, Red Cross is there to offer support. Often, depending on the type of emergency, emergency services also call on the Red Cross to assist. We are a big component of the local disaster management team in the event of any natural disasters.”
Lake has 20 years of experience with the Red Cross, having previously served as Disaster Coordinator, Logistics and Warehouse Coordinator, and Shelter Management. “Becoming the branch manager was not one [role — Ed.] I was actively going after, but with the resignation of the former branch manager and the contemplation of the headquarters to shut down our branch, I said, ‘That is not an option.’ It would have been unfair to all the people that have gone before us and even now with all the work and sacrifices being made. It would have been a major disservice to the community,” he said.
Lake’s plans for the local branch also include strengthening the bonds with local, regional and international partners, and improving communications through the organisation’s Facebook page.
The branch has been invited to an open house at Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) on September 9. There the branch hopes to reintroduce itself and recruit volunteers. A long-term goal of the local branch is the expansion of its facilities to better accommodate storage and operations. Lake invites persons in the community to become a Red Cross volunteer.
“The Red Cross is more than just the thrift store or handing out packages or feeding the needy. It encompasses all of this, and so much more. It’s another way to give back to my community,” he said.
Lake, as a young branch manager, said, “I know any set of responsibilities comes with its challenges. I look at it as a very positive opportunity and experience thus far.”
The Daily Herald.