Veronica Wise, Volunteer and Longtime Blood Donor

By Christy Peters, External Communications Manager

Veronica Wise began her journey with the American Red Cross at the former Portage County Chapter. As a volunteer, she helped coordinate blood drives and was a regular blood donor. So regular, in fact, that she has given more than 210 pints of blood to help patients in need. It is an amazing gift to give, and Veronica was recently recognized by Nancy Janis, the Executive Director of the Summit, Portage and Medina Counties Chapter for her efforts on behalf of the Red Cross.

 

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Red Cross volunteer and blood donor Veronica Wise received a Red Cross pin from Nancy Janis, Executive Director of the Summit, Portage and Medina Counties Chapter.

 

Not only did Veronica impact her community and the countless patients she helped save through blood donation, she instilled that same commitment to giving in her family. Karen Wise, Veronica’s daughter, knew from a young age the importance of giving back. She watched her mother donate blood and it made an impression on her. “When I was 16 it was a given – get your driver’s license and your Red Cross donor card,” Karen said.

 

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Karen displays the Red Cross Blood App

When asked about donating blood, 90-year-old Veronica insists, it wasn’t hard. “I enjoyed every minute of it.” The importance of donating grew for the Wise family when another of Veronica’s daughters was diagnosed with breast cancer. The family began giving platelets in her honor. Though, sadly, she lost her battle, the family continues to give blood regularly.

 

Karen shares that Veronica’s commitment left a mark on her family. “It’s something we can continue on,” she said. The Red Cross congratulates Veronica for her many donations and thanks her for inspiring so many to join her in helping save lives.  If you are so inspired, you can make an appointment to donate blood at RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800 RED CROSS.

 

Photo Credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross.  Visit our album on Flickr for more photos.

 

Thankful for YOU, NEO

Thank you for all the support you give to the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio!

Without you, none of this would be possible. So, today, we are thankful for you.

To learn more about our services in NEO, visit http://www.redcross.org/neo.

18th annual Bloodsuckers Buffet Wednesday, April 13

Icon BiomedJoin us for the 18th annual Bloodsuckers Buffet Wednesday, April 13, 7 a.m to 7 p.m. at Windows on the River in the Powerhouse at Nautica. All who come to donate will enjoy a 98.5 WNCX live broadcast all day, free goody bag with great gifts from our sponsors, complimentary parking, food and raffle prizes. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit redcrossblood.org and enter code “Bloodsuckers” or use the Blood Donor App to schedule your appointment today.

Donating blood at the Bloodsuckers Buffet on April 13? Save time at the blood drive by completing the new Red Cross RapidPass online health history before you go that day! To learn more and get your pass, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions.

 Every day the American Red Cross needs 14,000 blood and platelet donations to meet the needs of patients. We can’t do it without you! Join us for the 18th annual Bloodsuckers Buffet and help make a difference! The blood drive is Wednesday, April 13, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Windows on the River in the Powerhouse at Nautica. Enjoy a live broadcast with 98.5 WNCX, goody bag, complimentary parking, food and raffle prizes. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit redcrossblood.org and enter code “Bloodsuckers” or use the Blood Donor App to schedule your appointment today.

My first time donating blood – and why I can’t wait to do it again

KyleBy: Kyle McPhillips, student at Bay High School

Most of my life, I’ve known right from wrong. I’ve known things I should do, and I definitely have been taught things I shouldn’t. I’ve learned by watching my parents, sister, grandparents, cousins, friends, reading and just hearing stories. I’ve learned how to be a better person by watching and listening to people around me.

I often hear how great my Great-Grandpa Kowalski was, and how great the world would be if we were all like him. He was Papa to my mom and her brothers and sisters, and a hero and best friend, especially to my grandma and my Uncle Andrew. He was in the Army, served in the war, lived his life to serve others, and donated blood any chance he could. Over his lifetime, I was told he gave countless gallons of blood.

The stories about my great-grandpa were in the back of my mind when Bay High had a blood drive. Also, one of my sister’s friends passed away from a rare blood disorder, ITP. These thoughts helped me realize that a few seconds of pain from getting poked by a needle would be worth it to help someone who really needed it. Who knows how many lives he saved over his years of donating blood, or how many people with ITP survived because of a blood donation?

Aside from wanting to do the right thing, I also found out that my blood type is O+, and that this blood type is in high demand. Because I’ve been fortunate to grow up healthy, I realized it’s also my responsibility to donate whenever I can.

Did you know that you can donate blood every 56 days? My first experience went really well. Our school had a blood drive, we all signed up, and it was as simple as missing a class or two and doing a good deed. The volunteer staff made me feel very comfortable. They knew it was my first time, as it was for many others there. After checking my iron level and getting me settled into a chair, they cleaned up the area of my arm, marked a “good vein” and then told me to look away while she inserted the needle. It wasn’t super comfortable, but it also wasn’t horrible either. After breaking my elbow and having stitches in my lip a couple times, this was easy in comparison.

I know there is so much pressure on kids today to do well in school, excel in sports, get good test scores and so much more, but things like the blood drive helped me realize that there’s more to life than many of those things, and that simply being a good person and helping others is most important of all. It’s also nice to know I’m helping someone who doesn’t even know me, and it’s a good feeling to do that and not expect anything in return, except some juice and cookies.

I told myself that 56 days after my first donation I was going to do it again. It’s been almost 70 days, and I haven’t been back because I’ve just been so busy with school activities. But, I can’t make excuses, because donating blood is as important, and maybe more important, than other things I am doing. I know my great-grandpa, who only got to spend three months with me before he died, is smiling knowing that I’m trying to walk in his footsteps.

Give from the Heart

There is still time left on this snowy day to head out to the 18th Annual “Give From the Heart Blood Drive” at Executive Caterers at Landerhaven! Doors will close at 7 p.m.

Photo credit: Mary Williams/American Red Cross Staff Member

This blood drive is the largest in Northeast Ohio. Over the past 18 years, the ‘Give From the Heart Blood Drive’ has potentially helped to touch the lives of over 30,000 patients in need. Across the country, many regions are experiencing inclement winter weather and seasonal flu epidemics, which impact the ability of blood and platelet donors to give.

The need for blood is constant.  Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood and more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

To schedule your appointment to donate, or to view the closest blood drive to you, visit redcrossblood.org.

Volunteering for Blood Services

The American Red Cross Blood Services relies on the Volunteergenerosity of volunteers, not only as blood and platelet donors, but also to help with various aspects of our humanitarian work.

Every day, the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region holds approximately 20 blood drives throughout 19 northern Ohio counties. The organization depends on volunteers to assist donors with registration, escort them after they have given blood and ensure they receive refreshments and feel well after their donation.

Every day, volunteers show blood donors how important they are. Volunteer Ruby Dailey has been with the American Red Cross for over 14 years and loves helping people and making donors feel special. In the Northern Ohio Region, volunteers are part of a process that is vital for the whole community. By assisting at local blood drives and helping donors have a good experience, volunteers help patients in 57 local hospitals receive the lifesaving treatment they need. Jean Barson, who has volunteered with the Red Cross for 12 years, loves being part of the organization and giving back to her community.

Volunteers constitute about 90 percent of the total work force of the American Red Cross and the work of the organization could not continue without these dedicated individuals. That’s one of the main reasons George Figel has volunteered with the Red Cross for 29 years. He likes that it’s run by volunteers. And, he feels it’s a worthy endeavor because it helps people through a variety of services, like blood, disaster relief and military aid.

If you are interested in joining the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross as a Blood Services volunteer, visit redcrossblood.org/volunteer or call (216) 431-3172.

Celebrate March is Red Cross Month by Rolling Up Your Sleeves

March is Red Cross Month, and the Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors to give now to help restock its shelves following recent winter weather.

Winter storms in March forced the cancellation of more than 200 Red Cross blood drives, resulting in nearly 7,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. This shortfall follows more than 26,400 uncollected blood and platelet donations in February due to severe weather across 27 states. Regardless of the weather, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood – from cancer patients to accident victims to premature babies with complications.

March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by former President Franklin Roosevelt. Since then, every president has called on people across America to support the organization’s humanitarian mission in March.

You can help support the Red Cross and ensure blood and platelets are available for patients in need by scheduling an appointment to donate now. To find a donation opportunity near you, download the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. You can also help support the Red Cross by asking others to donate or creating a SleevesUp virtual blood drive.