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Giving to Others, Gives Back Satisfaction


Need a nurse? How about Esther Lau? She is the State Nurse Liaison at the American Red Cross' Hawaii State Chapter. She renders medical aid to disaster-struck victims, while spreading the good word about the great works of Red Cross programs. Most recently when a part of the Hawaiian island suffered bad weather conditions and possible tsunami flooding, she was among the medical professionals that went to sites and evaluated the need for shelters and medical assistance.

Lau has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross since 2001. "I can't really explain why I do it, it just gives me so much energy and satisfaction," she said. Jennifer Walter, the Disaster Services Response & Preparedness Manager for the Hawaii State Chapter, remarked that “one of Esther Lau's greatest strengths as a volunteer is her willingness to mentor and develop other volunteers.”

Walter explained that on recent occasions when volunteer health services-newcomers were assigned to go on first-time deployment missions in response to large disasters, “I think she (Esther Lau) gave them all her number.” Walter opined that although Lau was probably very busy as the health services manager herself, “she checked in with several of the newer volunteers [on a regular basis] to make sure they were doing okay” and could follow Red Cross client assistance procedures smoothly.

Lau volunteers in so many charitable endeavors. She stated, “I always wanted to help someone in the face of disaster, and now that my children are grown, I felt it was the time to give back." She cuddles newborn infants, so they are not starved for love and attention, when their birth-mothers may suffer drug addictions, or the newborns have been abandoned altogether. Lau also visits a hospice for the elderly to give them medical attention and assistance that they may require.

Lau has been deployed within the territories of Hawaii, as well as throughout other states within the United States. According to her, the trait that most epitomizes her mindset is “flexibility.” She stated that, "You've got to be ready to adapt to any sort of conditions.” But, she declared that "I couldn't do my [selfless] volunteer work without the support of my family,” and added “my husband (another medical professional) is especially supportive.” Lau proudly asserted that even though she volunteers for other organizations, “volunteering with the Red Cross is my favorite because it lets me do so much!" She enthused that the Red Cross lets her help so many people in so many different places.