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).

 

Blood Drives Abound this Holiday Season

Give more life this holiday season by donating blood or platelets at one of the many blood drives scheduled throughout Northeast Ohio.  Donations typically drop during the holidays, with people occupied by other activities or travel.  But patients don’t get a holiday from the need for blood or platelets, so if you can, visit redcrossblood.org to find the blood drive most convenient for you, or call 1-800 RED CROSS.

Some of the blood drives scheduled include:

  • Tuesday, December 19 – Quicken Loans Arena, 12:00 noon to 6:00 pm.
  • Tuesday, December 19 – Hilton Garden Inn Twinsburg, 7:00 am – 7:00 pm.
  • Thursday, December 21 – Sheraton Suites Akron Cuyahoga Falls, 7: 00 am – 7:00 pm.
  • Friday, December 22 – Stambaugh Auditorium, Youngstown, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Friday, December 22 – Packard Music Hall, Warren, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

A special blood drive took place in Ashtabula last week.  Red Cross Communications Volunteer Paul Wadowick captured the story:

Arturo Gomez, a sophomore at Lakeside High in the Ashtabula City School District, wanted to help his community in a positive way.  Arturo shared, “By surrounding myself in a blood drive environment, it would also help me towards my goal to be an RN.” The door opened towards achieving this project with parental support. Eager to do this drive, Arturo met with the area blood drive manager, Tara Dragon. She introduced him to the components needed for organizing a drive. Next, this fifteen year old applied himself to promoting. Flyers were posted in the school and community.  Social media was engaged.  One-on-one contacts were made with people he knows. Blood drive reality arrived on December 15, 2017.

Sophomore Hosts BD 2017 12 15

Arturo hosted during the entire scheduled time. The volunteer Blood Drive Ambassador highlighted ‘customer service’ ways for registration requirements and canteen courtesies. When the day was done, Arturo’s learning curve had grown and four first time donors had signed in.  Thank you Arturo for a job well done!

Raising the Roof and Raising Awareness

By: Doug Bardwell, American Red Cross Volunteer

While the legendary Harlem Globetrotters raised the roof in Quicken Loans Arena, Red Cross volunteers raised awareness with an information table in the lobby across from Section 128.  It was a two-fold information, full-court press.

The Globetrotters have partnered with the Red Cross in The Great Assist initiative, helping Americans before, during and after local incidents or national disasters.

A large banner proclaimed “Join Us” and the information table was stacked high with handouts providing the details. Many people don’t realize the multiple ways they can become involved with Red Cross, and the brochure nicely lays out options for people of all talent, skill and interest levels.

The Globetrotters played two games on December 27; at 1:00 pm and again at 6:00 pm.  Separate volunteer groups manned the table at each game.

The table also displayed small signs with the same message that appeared courtside — “Text ASSIST to 90999 to donate $10.”  Again, something small that people can easily do, but when combined with thousands of others, can make a serious impact.

2016-garrett-at-globetrotter-gameThe table attracted a number of people, including Garrett Chapin (15) and his mother Laura. We wished we could have kept them longer, as Garrett demonstrated his spinning-ball-on-the-finger-tip trick.  Wearing a uniform just like the Globetrotters, he truly illuminated the area with blinking LED lights in his basketball shoes.

So, did the table do its job?

That’s probably an answer best left to the data analysts, but this writer does have a few opinions.

First, the more people see your sign or your logo, the more likely they are to remember you when the need arises.  Marketing 101 stuff, but it is a truism.

Secondly, it seems that people are so tired of seeing tables set up in the mall or airport, that they often shy away from a manned table, not wanting to get involved. Exactly the opposite reaction we were hoping for.

So, after staffing the table for more than an hour, and having 99% of our great brochures still sitting there, unloved, we decided to take the brochures on a road-show.

Walking around the entire Quicken Loans Arena lobby, if a person looked receptive, we approached and delivered a short message while handing them a brochure.  “The Red Cross is always looking for good volunteers if you or someone you know might be interested.” or “If you are looking for volunteer opportunities for yourself or someone in your family, the Red Cross would love to talk to you.”

In an hour, the brochures were gone, and a good 90% of them were met with smiles, with heartfelt “Thanks” and some with “I’ll definitely look it.”

Hopefully at the end of the evening, the announcements over the PA raised some money from the fans, and hopefully the brochures will further raise awareness of the many ways our organization contributes to the community.