Story: Mabel Lam

April 25, 2013

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Story and Photo by Dawn Leaks

“When tragedies like this happen, diversity is one of the things that sometimes gets neglected,” says Mabel Lam, Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Volunteer. “It’s very meaningful to have the Red Cross come in with a diverse group that understands different cultures”.

Mabel, a Hong Kong native, grew up in San Francisco and moved to Cambridge, MA in the 80s. She has a long history with the Red Cross and has helped people cope with the stress and anxiety of disasters since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Her background in clinical psychology makes her an excellent mental health volunteer for the Red Cross and Mabel is glad to be able to provide a different prospective to the people she cares for.

Since Sunday, April 21, Mabel has been to the Boston Common and several memorial sites helping Boston residents work through their emotions and try make sense of the bombings.  “People react differently in situations like these,” said Mabel. “Cultural competence is essential – it’s so important to have that piece involved”.

Part of the Red Cross vision is to cultivate a culturally competent and inclusive organization, where the make-up of Red Cross volunteers increasingly reflects the clients and communities we serve.  The Boston area is rich in diversity and the bombings along with the events that followed have taken a toll on the entire community.

“Many people are taking the bombings very hard,” shared Mabel. “I’m just happy that I can help in some way.” 


STORY: Dynamic Duo, Leah and Ralphie

December 6, 2012

Story by Lilly Watson, photo by Destry Carr

blind volunteer photo

NEW YORK, N.Y. – American Red Cross volunteers of many appearances and backgrounds from cities all across America fill the fourth floor of the Red Cross Greater New York Chapter as they head out into the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Leah Seabury, age 24, manages to stand out amongst her diverse peers. It’s likely her lovable Guide Dog, Ralphie, who stands close by on his harness ready to help her move around the chapter and out on visits to disaster victims, helps her stand out.

In New York, on her first deployment from the Raleigh Regional Chapter in North Carolina, Seabury works in a multitude of service delivery areas, including the Disaster Action Team and Client Casework, her current assignment for Hurricane Sandy. Seabury says her passion for public service is what brought her to the Red Cross three years ago when she received Ralphie as her guide dog.

“I love helping people, and if I had my vision, I would work in public safety,” Seabury shares. “The Red Cross gave me the chance to still live my passion for helping others despite my disability.”

Read the rest of this entry »


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