Each summer, OSRUI Associate Director Susan Alexander coordinates the staff blood drive. Here are excerpts from an email she received from Tara Blaesing, Blood Program Consultant for the Blood Center of Wisconsin.
Another OSRUI blood drive is in the books, time to take a breather and celebrate! When someone is a dedicated blood drive coordinator, like yourself, it may seem like “no big deal” what you just did. I’m here to tell you something – You’re wrong.
Taking the time and having the dedication to make sure that the OSRUI blood drive happened IS a big deal. If it wasn’t for YOU and the blood donors you recruited, lives would not be saved. Take a minute and really think about that…in someone’s darkest hour, in a hospital maybe not too far away from where you sit right now, someone got a second chance at life. In fact, 90 “someones” got a second chance at life because you made sure that 30 blood donations were collected. There aren’t enough words to thank you (but that doesn’t mean I won’t keep trying).
I have a little guy, Noel, who is five. Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting another little guy, not too much older than Noel, and his mom, as we planned to hold a blood drive in his honor in Oconomowoc. I couldn’t stop looking at his mom and thinking “That could be me,” and then looking at this brave little boy’s face and thinking “and that could be Noel.” Because, after all, we never think it will be US. No, things like childhood cancer are things that happen to “other people’s kids”. And while they have been through so much, they both just had the most beautiful smiles on their faces when they talked about the blood donations he had received and how grateful they were that volunteer blood donors… complete strangers… had taken the time to help them. How it was a priceless gift. How they wish they could personally thank each and every one of them.
So, when you think about the blood drives you’ve coordinated, and the ones still to come, please know that it’s more than putting up posters and asking people to sign up. It’s giving a little boy and his family hope for the future and reminding them that there are still good people in this world that are willing to go the extra mile to help someone who will never be able to repay them. It’s a big deal.
Let’s celebrate by looking at what was accomplished at your blood drive:
- 39 people came to donate and only 6 were deferred (i.e.,: low iron, antibiotics, certain travel outside the U.S.) – this is a very low percentage of deferrals, especially for having a number of international donors!
- Of the 33 who completed the health history screening, 30 went on to successfully donate a blood product.
- Of the 39 who presented to donate, 24 (!!!) were first time donors through BloodCenter of Wisconsin, and 5 donors hadn’t donated through BloodCenter in over 2 years – great job bringing them in and bringing them back!
… I’m looking forward to working with you again next summer and will be in touch in the near future to get a date on the calendar.