Love to drive? Become a Volunteer Transportation Specialist

By Courtney Roach, Manager, Biomedical Volunteer Workforce Engagement

How does it feel to help save a life? This is your chance to find out! If you have a little free time, love driving, and enjoy meeting new people, the Red Cross has a great volunteer position for you. We are currently seeking Volunteer Transportation Specialists in Cuyahoga County. It’s a unique volunteer position that supports blood pickup at both mobile and fixed site blood drives.

blood 1-11Why Is This Position So Important?

The Red Cross collects and distributes about 40% of our nation’s blood supply. When you pick up blood, platelets or other blood products from a blood collection site or deliver them to a hospital, you’re delivering hope to a person when they need it most.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Transport blood and blood products from blood collection sites to the laboratory for processing
  • Pick up and return boxes as needed
  • Complete required paperwork and obtain signatures
  • Communicate and share feedback between Red Cross personnel and customers
  • Drive in a safe and responsible manner in a Red Cross Vehicle and always provide strong customer.

The Ideal Candidate:

  • Enjoys driving
  • Is physically able to lift up to 50 lbs.
  • Is timely and prompt
  • Is highly self-sufficient and dependable

The vital work of the American Red Cross is made possible by volunteers who contribute their time and talents. Every day our drivers help save people’s lives.

To apply or for more information, visit www.redcross.org/volunteer or contact Melanie Collins at 330-204-6615 or melanie.collins4@redcross.org.

Resolve to save a life

By Eric Alves, Regional Communications Specialist, American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio. Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer. 

2019 is already a week old and your New Year’s resolution may not be going as planned. Instead of feeling bad about another missed opportunity, the American Red Cross has a resolution that is not only easy to keep but will make you feel equally good: Resolve to save a life.

Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018January is National Blood Donor Month. If you have never given blood before or it has been a while, it is the perfect time to become a blood donor.

In the United States, there is someone who needs blood every two seconds. Unfortunately, of the 38 percent of the population who is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually donate.

To make it easier to donate blood this month, the Red Cross is hosting over 350 blood drives across Northeast Ohio from today until the end of January, ensuring there is a blood drive close to you. To find a scheduled blood drive, visit RedCrossBlood.org to search by zip code and prepare for your donation.

If you cannot attend any of the scheduled blood drives, the Red Cross has several donation centers in Northeast Ohio. For those in the Greater Cleveland area interested in giving blood and donating platelets, the Red Cross has blood donation centers in Cleveland and Parma.

The Warzel Blood Donation Center is located at the Regional Headquarters on 3747 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday.Blood Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 2018

The Parma Donation Center is located on 5585 Pearl Avenue and is open from noon to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday to Sunday

The Red Cross also has a donation center in our Akron office and a donation center in Mansfield.

Here are some helpful facts as you prepare to take the next steps to donate today:

  • The average person has about 10 to 12 pints of blood in his or her body.
  • There are four blood groups: A, B, AB and O.
  • Red cells, which contain hemoglobin, carry oxygen throughout the blood and give blood its red color, are used to treat trauma or surgery patients.
  • Platelets helps prevent massive blood loss by helping blood clot and is used to treat cancer patients, organ transplant patients and surgery patients.
  • You can donate blood every 56 days and you can donate platelets up to 24 times per year.
  • You must be at least 17 years old to donate. In Ohio, you can donate blood if you are 16 years old and have written parental consent.
  • You must weigh at least 110 pounds. Additional weight requirements apply
    for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school donors.
  • From beginning to end, the blood donation process takes about one hour and 15 minutes to donate blood and three hours to donate platelets.
  • The Red Cross does not charge for the blood itself, but does recoup the many costs associated with the donation process.
  • After you donate, you can enjoy juice and cookies in the refreshment area and think about the difference you’ve made!

Blood Donation 2018

Visit RedCrossBlood.org today to sign up to donate. This is a journey you can start this new year and resolve to continue every 56 days.

Give more life this holiday season – give blood!

Community urged to help patients in need across Northeast Ohio

By Christy Peters, Manager, External Communications, American Red Cross Northern Ohio Blood Services

The American Red Cross is encouraging the community to help meet patient needs this holiday season. The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect blood donations. Many donors are busy with holiday activities, and inclement weather can force the cancellation of blood drives. Additionally, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses.

WKYC Austin

WKYC Channel 3 News reporter Austin Love donating blood during a Halloween blood drive at the Warzel Donation Center in Cleveland. Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

Join the Red Cross at one of several holiday blood drives happening in Northeast Ohio and help save lives this holiday season:

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

Hilton Garden Inn Twinsburg Holiday Blood Drive

8971 Wilcox Dr., Twinsburg, 44087

7 a.m.-7 p.m.

 

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018

Quicken Loans Arena Blood Drive

1 Center Court, Cleveland, 44115

10 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018

Cuyahoga Falls Holiday Blood Drive

Sheraton Suites Akron/Cuyahoga Falls

1989 Front St., Cuyahoga Falls, 44221

7 a.m.-7 p.m.

 

Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

33 WYTV Holiday Blood Drives

Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 5th Ave., Youngstown

Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave., Warren

9 a.m.-4 p.m.

 

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

Landerhaven Blood Drive

Executive Caterers at Landerhaven

6111 Landerhaven Dr., Mayfield Heights, 44124

7 a.m.-7 p.m.

The Red Cross is currently facing an urgent need for blood. Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter.

Your blood donation may give a patient in need more time – and more holidays – with loved ones. To make an appointment for any of the blood drives listed above, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

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

IMG_5412

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.”