Keep Calm, It’s Stress Awareness Day

By Brad Galvan; edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross Volunteers

Does even the thought of Stress Awareness Day stress you out? Stress, anxiety, pressure and strain are all synonyms for that uncomfortable burden on one’s mental health. Each of us have experienced stress in varying degrees often caused by workloads, relationships or other factors. Effective, healthy stress management can literally be a Hurricane Matthew 2016lifesaver. That’s the focus of Stress Awareness Day, which is recognized on November 7.

A healthy amount of stress can be viewed as a motivator, a reason to strive for improvement and it can feel good when one can overcome challenges. But when it’s overwhelming, causing illness, hurting relationships and overall well-being, it’s important to evaluate environmental stressors. Stepping back, evaluating the cause of stress and using a mitigation technique can be very effective.

Many people suffer from stresses related to not feeling as if there are enough hours in the day or stress related to not being prepared for the known, and unknown. There’s no need to re-create the wheel; checklists, planning documents and organizers are readily available. Consider reviewing The Be Ready Red Cross checklist. Other folks find comfort in turning the attention away from themselves and focus on others as a strategy to reduce stress. A great way to do that is to donate blood. Finding a nearby drive whereBlood bank Campaign ceremony 2017 you can relax for a few minutes and know that you are helping someone else could be a wonderful way to reduce tension.

If personal evaluation of anxiety and management of stresses do not seem to help, consulting a mental health professional is always the best bet. Mental health is just as important as physical health—it’s critical to care for your own well-being on November 7 and throughout the entire year.

Emergency Blood Shortage: Red Cross Issues Urgent Call for Blood Donors

An emergency blood shortage is prompting the American Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors of all blood types – especially type O – to give now and help save lives.

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Photo Credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

The Red Cross escalated its call for blood and platelet donors after a difficult Independence Day week for donations. More than 550 fewer blood drives were organized by businesses and other community groups last week than during a typical week as individuals across the country celebrated the holiday and enjoyed summer activities. This could equate to as many as 15,000 fewer donations than needed, causing donations to now be distributed to hospitals faster than they come in.

“Each and every day, individuals across the country depend on blood and platelet donations for lifesaving treatments and emergency care, so it’s critical that people donate now to meet these needs,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services. “Whether you’ve never donated or give a couple of times a year, you’re needed to give as soon as possible to help save patient lives. Yours may be the donation a patient is counting on.”

This need is especially critical for type O blood donors. Type O is the most in-demand blood type and often the first be depleted from hospital shelves during a shortage. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations. Type O positive is the most common blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

 How to help

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Blood Donor Ken Krogulecki of Bay Village, Ohio

To schedule an appointment to donate, use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross has added about 6,500 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to accommodate more donors. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help reduce the time it takes to donate.

 

Who blood donations help

Because of generous donors, the Red Cross is able to provide blood products for patients like 9-month-old Krew Anderson. Krew is a happy, laid-back baby boy. His wide grin frames two tiny teeth. He likes to play with balloons and just experienced his first boat ride and fireworks show, but Krew has faced more challenges in the last four months than many people will experience in a lifetime.

In March, Krew was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a type of cancer that causes bone marrow to produce a large number of abnormal blood cells. Since then, he has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy and received 15 blood and platelet transfusions to date.

“The first time he got [a transfusion], I was just super nervous and didn’t know really what was happening,” said his mother, Stephanie Anderson. “Now, when he gets one, I’m like, ‘Yes, please, get him some blood to help him get more energy and back to normal.’”

Krew’s father, Richard Anderson, donated blood a couple of times a year prior to his son’s diagnosis, but after seeing Krew receive blood, he now plans to give as soon as he’s eligible again.

“For me, just knowing that if it happened to me, it can happen to anyone. I want to make sure there’s enough blood out there for everyone, and that there’s no shortage,” he said.

Stephanie Aholt of Strongsville also knows the value of donated blood.  It saved the life of her newborn son, Benjamin.  See and hear Stephanie’s story here.

Missing Types sees encouraging increase in new donors – all donors needed now

Facing a decline of about 80,000 new Red Cross blood donors each year for the past several years, the Red Cross launched the Missing Types campaign in June to encourage new donors, and those who have not given recently, to donate blood. While the campaign has already inspired thousands of new donors to give, the Red Cross is now calling on all eligible blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve as soon as possible to overcome the emergency blood shortage.

Through the Missing Types campaign, which runs throughout the summer, the letters A, B and O – letters used to identify blood types – disappeared from corporate logos, celebrity social media accounts and favorite websites to illustrate the critical role every blood donor plays in ensuring blood is never missing from hospital shelves.

Summer’s Coming – What are Your Kids and Grandkids Doing This Year?

 By Doug Bardwell,  American Red Cross volunteer

Don’t look outside; but trust me — summer is coming. We may just skip spring, but summer is coming. And, what do your children or grandchildren have planned for their school vacation? Red Cross has a suggestion.

Since many teenagers are required to complete a certain number of service hours, there’s a way they can do that and gain some life skills at the same time. Have them consider the American Red Cross Summer Youth Corps program  where youth will serve as Donor Ambassadors at our blood drives.

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Open to teens and young adults from 14 to 24, it’s easy to get involved. Start by contacting Melanie Collins at melanie.collins4@redcross.org or 330-204-6615. She’ll enroll them in one of the two remaining mandatory training sessions:

  • Saturday, May 5, 2018                9:30 am – 11:00 am
  • Tuesday, June 12, 2018            2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

After training, the program suggests a minimum of 10 shifts between June 1st and August 31st; but hopefully, they’ll enjoy it so much they’ll want to sign up for more.

What to expect?

The program focuses on Biomedical Services and helping with the blood drives throughout Northern Ohio, usually held Monday through Friday. You can select the locations and times that are most convenient. Heck, where else can you find a summer job that doesn’t tie up all your weekends?

At the drive location, there are multiple ways to help the medical staff, such as:

  • Welcoming, registering and escorting donors as they arrive.
  • Explaining the donation paperwork process.
  • Making reminder calls, scheduling or rescheduling donor appointments and doing follow up.
  • Recognizing donors for their contribution and socializing in the hospitality area.

IMG_1464The goal is to make the entire visit pleasant for the donors, ensuring that they’ll want to donate again in the future.

In return, volunteers will develop customer service skills transferable to any industry.  With a Red Cross name badge, they’ll be respected as a member of America’s leading blood donation organization. They’ll also receive a letter of reference for their resume/portfolio.  Isn’t that a better deal than a discount on greasy burgers?

Contact Melanie Collins for more details:   melanie.collins4@redcross.org or 330-204-6615.

Volunteer Profile: Megan and Tanya Williams

Volunteers Ensure American Red Cross Lifesaving Mission Continues

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Biomedical Services

April is National Volunteer Month, the perfect time to recognize all those individuals who help carry out the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross, not only as blood and platelet donors, but as blood drive volunteers. Every day, at blood drives across Northern Ohio, dedicated volunteers greet and register blood donors, serve as donor escorts and manage the blood drive refreshment area. These volunteers are vital in making blood drives successful and ensuring patients receive the lifesaving blood products they need.

Megan and Tanya Williams

Megan and Tanya Williams

Megan Williams began volunteering with the Red Cross as a student at Streetsboro High School. She now attends the University of Akron and continues to work with the Red Cross. She volunteers regularly at the Summit Donor Center and every year at the Sheraton Cuyahoga Falls Holiday Blood Drive. Megan even got her mom Tanya involved and now, volunteering at the Sheraton Blood Drive is something they do, together, every year. Megan says she enjoys helping out and the Red Cross is thankful for her dedication!

In addition to volunteering at blood drives, the Red Cross is always looking for more blood and platelet donors. Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those in need of transfusions. Donating is a simple way for those who are short on time to make a life-changing difference.

The Red Cross is hosting its annual Hometown Hero Blood Drive tomorrow at Aloft Cleveland Downtown on the East Bank of the Flats. Come to donate and enjoy a 98.5 WNCX live broadcast all day with Bill Louis and Michael Stanley, free goody bag with gifts from sponsors, complimentary parking and food.

Use the Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter code “WNCX” or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule your appointment for the Hometown Hero Blood Drive today! To learn more about volunteering with the Red Cross visit RedCross.org/neo and click “Volunteer.”

 

#GiveMoreLife at the Annual WNCX Hometown Hero Blood Drive

Formerly Known as The Bloodsuckers Buffet

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Biomedical Services

Heroes come in all types! Join the American Red Cross, 98.5 WNCX and St. Vincent Charity Medical Center for the Hometown Hero Blood Drive next Tuesday, April 17, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Aloft Cleveland Downtown on the East Bank of the Flats. Formerly Bloodsuckers Buffet, the Hometown Hero Blood Drive is an annual event that helps ensure patients in over 50 local hospitals receive the blood products they need.

Come to donate and enjoy a 98.5 WNCX live broadcast all day with Bill Louis and Michael Stanley, free goody bag with gifts from sponsors, complimentary parking and food. During National Volunteer Month in April, the Red Cross celebrates the contributions of its volunteers and asks people to become blood donors. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood and the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 units of blood each day. Volunteer donors are the only source of blood and platelets for those in need of transfusions. There is no artificial substitute for blood.

From the 2017 Hometown Hero Blood Drive
Photo Credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Blood donors are part of an elite group that helps save lives. Only about 3 percent of the total U.S. population donates blood each year. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.

Use the Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter code “WNCX” or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule your appointment for the Hometown Hero Blood Drive today!

 

 

Generosity Flows From Their Veins

Blood Drive at Landerhaven draws hundreds of donors on a winter’s day in Northeast Ohio

 

The annual “Give from the Heart” blood drive at Landerhaven near Cleveland resulted in the donation of 528 units of blood, thanks to the generous donors who braved snow and cold to give the gift of life.

One of those donors was Michelle Polinko, the Regional Development Officer for the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region.

“Giving blood isn’t always easy or convenient, but it’s always the right thing to do,” she said, as Collections Technician Willie Muse worked with good humor to ensure Michelle’s experience was positive. DVXfoKJWAAI51Wl (3)

Also adding to the positive vibe was the food provided by Executive Caterers.

The donations of blood could not have come at a more crucial time, as the Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage. Ongoing winter weather has more than doubled the number of canceled Red Cross blood drives, resulting in the blood and platelet donation shortfall. Blood donations are critically needed so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need.

To schedule an appointment for a future blood donation, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org,   or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Give From the Heart Turns 20

Landerhaven Blood Drive Comes Amidst Critical Shortage, Urgent Need for Donations

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager, Biomedical Services

The American Red Cross is partnering with Executive Caterers at Landerhaven for the 20th annual Give from the Heart Blood Drive. The blood drive is Tuesday, Feb. 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Landerhaven, 6111 Landerhaven Drive in Mayfield Heights.

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Photo Credit: Mary Williams/American Red Cross

The Give from the Heart Blood Drive is a lifesaving tradition in northeast Ohio. In the past 19 years, the event has collected more than 12,200 units of blood for local patients. All presenting donors will receive gifts from blood drive sponsors, while supplies last, and enjoy live entertainment throughout the drive. Donors will also enjoy gourmet food for breakfast, lunch or dinner, courtesy of Executive Caterers.

This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage. Ongoing winter weather has more than doubled the number of canceled Red Cross blood drives and the resulting blood and platelet donation shortfall since earlier this month. Blood donations are critically needed now so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.

To schedule an appointment for this special event, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit rcblood.org/appt and enter code: Landerhaven  or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).