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In prep mode for San Pedro and Belize City

Although it may seem like it, I have not gone MIA (missing in action). I have been super busy with Red Cross stuff in preparation for our community meeting tonight (see details below) and planning for a 3-day volunteer forum in Belize City at Princess Hotel & Casino which is now owned by Ramada.

Each branch was invited to send 3 people and Shirlee Frank and I made the cut for San Pedro. I just booked my Tropic Air flight this morning and am super excited.

I can’t wait to come together as a countrywide group to learn from each other, brainstorm and make plans. Our San Pedro Branch is looking forward to strengthening bonds with other branches through this experience. Some of the topics/areas we will be contributing to and learning about are:

  • Global Volunteer Forum to be held in Bangkok, Thailand. (Love Thai food 🙂 and definitely want to know about this opportunity.)
  • Discuss and make plans for the promotion of a new and strengthened culture of volunteerism within the Belize Red Cross.
  • Review and create a plan for the implementation of the Volunteer Strategy and Youth Engagement Strategy throughout the Belize Red Cross.

San Pedro Branch has been working hard to become a role model branch under the guidance of Director General Lily Bowmen at Headquarters and so far she has been very pleased with our Branch activity. We will be presenting copies of our 2013 and 2014 press books to Headquarters at the event. This will help them show what our Branch is doing to the many international Red Cross visitors that pass through their office and hopefully inspire other branches to start their own.

While it is a very involved process to build the San Pedro branch strong, we continue to work hard and do our best to engage in capacity building activities. In addition to ongoing first aid training, we are selling basic and deluxe first aid kits. The  San Pedro Red Cross would like to thank the many local businesses and individuals that have been stepping up to buy first aid kits because they are making Ambergris Caye just a little safer: Caribbean Villas, Aimee Fearneyhough, Sunrise Realty, Caye Coffee, San Pedro Sailing Club, Ambergris Seaside Real Estate, Xanadu Resort, Josh Buettner, Licks Beachside Cafe, El Divino, and Banana Beach Resort.

Another very important capacity building activity is our quarterly blood drives. Having healthy blood supply for our island residents has already proved to be a benefit to our community and more specifically a few islanders in need of blood for planned surgery and one who needed five pints in an emergency.

This past blood donor drive, we teamed up with the Cancer Society and Belize Blood Services on Saturday, November 8, 2014, where island residents turned up to donate blood at the San Carlos Clinic on Middle Street.

The clinic traffic was steady all day with had a healthy turn out of islanders and tourists from 9:00 am-3:00 pm donating both blood and money. The Cancer Society provided an opportunity for donors to purchase delicious hot tamales, cupcake and other sweets for which the proceeds will benefit the Cancer Society and their operations.

At the end of the day, 37 pints of blood were collected for the  Ambergris Caye reserve stored at the Belize Blood Bank, Belize City. The dollar drive on the street raised close to $700 which will help the San Pedro Branch in their work. Belize Blood Services Group with their enthusiasm and professionalism always make our quarterly blood drives a positive working experience. The Cancer Society was also great to work with and was very helpful in organizing the location, lunch and Tropic travel for our Belize City guests. We did our part with our fun promotional vampire commercial, Facebook invitation, flyers and getting DigiCell on board for SMS promotion and prizes.

A big thank you goes to DigiCell, Tropic Air, Elvis Kitchen, San Carlos Medical Center, Bowen and Bowen and Martha’s Ice Factory for sponsoring the blood drive.  A text from DigiCell encouraging donors to come out increased the awareness of the drive. The generous raffle prizes will be drawn soon and will be posted on our Facebook page.

The San Pedro Branch is grateful to all donors for making this blood drive so successful. Watch our San Pedro Belize Red Cross Facebook page for the information and invitations for the next blood drive coming up in February and remember – It’s in you to give.

If you would like to learn more about the Cancer Society, make a donation or volunteer,  please email

To find out more about the San Pedro Red Cross and how you can help, get first aid training or buy a first aid kit, please email Shirlee Arnould at or Laurie Norton at


Please join the San Pedro Belize Red Cross for a community meeting tonight November 20 at 6:00 pm at El Divino Restaurant.  The purpose of the meeting is to let the community know what we have been doing and where we are heading.

We will also be signing up active volunteers and members. The volunteer committees we will be looking to fill are for health, disaster preparation, fundraising, volunteer/membership, and media committees. Membership is a great option for people who support what we are doing and want to help but do not want to be a steady volunteer. This can be done with a $100 annual contribution.

And, last but not least, we will have some first aid kits available for sale.

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