80-year-old’s lifelong love for Red Cross

For Amilia Martha Haylock volunteer work did not earn her a salary, but it came with its own rewards – lots of friends, the joy of helping others and a light to shine in the darkest of times.

red cross

Red Cross Director Jondo Obi, left, receives the $500 cheque from Ms Haylock. Photo: Jewel Levy

Her passion to assist the Red Cross started from the time she was a little girl. Today at 80 that enthusiasm to help has grown stronger.

Although she cannot get around doing the things she used to when she was a member in the 80’s, her heart is always with them.

Wanting to assist in any way she can, Ms Haylock took out a savings account for the Red Cross and for her 80th birthday on Tuesday she renewed her membership and donated $500 to help the Red Cross.

‘I always wanted to be in the Red Cross, I love helping others I love working with the people at the Red Cross. I love hearing their stories. I love being a part of this humanitarian effort,’ she said.

Growing up in Honduras with her Caymanian parents, Ms Haylock got to see first-hand how the volunteer service worked. She was little but always dreamed of one day joining the Red Cross.

When she returned to Cayman with her family she joined the Red Cross started by Nurse Watts.

‘I started helping out in the thrift shop and collecting donations from people.

‘Seeing people needing assistance and helping can shine light into the darkest of times.’ This she said, prompted her to renew her membership and give her extra time and resources to the Red Cross.

Since joining the Red Cross, Ms Haylock has sewn the Red Cross Flag, helped to recruit new members, worked in the thrift shop, delivered supplies to the shut-ins, sick and elderly and delivered Christmas toys for children less fortunate. She also assisted during Hurricane Gilbert, although she was taking care of her father.

During her time with the Red Cross she remembers when there was barely anything in the little thrift shop started to assist the Red Cross.

She said she did not like the idea of begging money and thought the Red Cross thrift shop and cake sales were a good idea to generate income.

She remembers asking her father to make shelves because there was nowhere to put the clothes. For clothes hangers she said she cut a log wood tree, stuck it in a pan of cement and used the limbs to hang clothes for sale.

‘We were really short-handed to get the Red Cross started up in those days,’ she said.

Now that she is getting older and cannot do as much as she would like to, she says, ‘It is not for the limelight, it is just because I love to be the person that gets things done but stays in the background.

Even after her active work is over she said there is always more that can be done.

With nearly three decades of volunteer work under her belt, Ms Haylock has dozens of friends across the island and the satisfaction of knowing that she is able to help people. “I feel good about that’.

She says she does not know why she feels the need to pull back everything to her at this time, she just knows she wants to rekindle her relationship with the people she met, things she did and be thankful for the life and gift that God gave her.

Not one for the limelight the quiet unsung hero is content to make things happen from the background.