More Than Just Blood-Experiences at a Blood Drive

On July 9th I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Six Flags Super Blood Drive at the Big E along with a fellow Youth Programs Intern, Sarah Braverman. Together, we decided to share our experiences from the drive.

Sarah Bessette: I had attended and seen a few blood drives before, but this one was very impressive. From the moment you step into the Better Living Center, a Red Cross Volunteer greets you with a smile, guides you through the process, and sends you to the next station. From the colored wrist bands, to the Looney Toon characters for each donation booth, the organization and flow of the event is incredible. The donors feel comfortable and welcomed.

Going to an event like that, you can’t help but want to give in some way. Whether it’s through actually giving blood, or sitting at the registration desk, each part of the event helps to change and save lives. It was motivating to see the people lining up to donate blood. As a volunteer you get to interact with so many of these people. Some have been giving for years, and others it’s their first time. Some are outgoing, and some hardly speak at all. One was in shock that people actually volunteer their time to help with the drive. Another had volunteered with the Red Cross before. Every donor is different, yet all unified under the same gratification that they helped to save a life. Knowing that is what makes my volunteer experience the most satisfying.

Sarah Braverman: The Big E hosted a Six Flags Super Blood Drive on July 9th, and what an experience it was! The Better Living Center was filled with Red Cross Volunteers and blood donors of all ages and all ready to donate, starting early in the morning to late at night. What I thought was most impressive was how the system was organized. A donor would walk in and be greeted by a Red Cross Volunteer and informed on our regulations and policies for donating blood. The donors were given a colored wrist band that matched a sign at each donation station with a Looney Toon character. Donors had the option to donate whole blood or just red blood cells. After a background check and their donation, each donor went to one of about eight refreshment station, relaxed and socialized with the many other donors.

I volunteered at the “Sylvester the Cat” station greeting people and recording who came in to donate. I had never seen so many donors all in one place at one time. While I was volunteering, I got to meet other volunteers and donors of various backgrounds. Everyone had a story to tell: what brought them to working for the Red Cross, what brought them there that day to donate, how long they have been volunteering or donating, the stories were never ending. What left the longest impact on me was to see all these people, no matter how hard life had been to them, taking the time out of their lives to give to someone they may never meet. Someone with stories they may never hear. Being surrounded by these good Samaritans revived my feelings of enthusiasm and optimism in the charity work I do. Every little thing you do that’s for the benefit of someone else is time well spent.

As you can see, there is so much more to a blood drive than just blood. Its about the donors you meet, the volunteer stories you hear, and the experiences made that create the difference.


Third Thursday at the Red Cross

Need a taste of disaster? The Kendall Square Association’s Third Thursday will be held at the American Red Cross with our buddies from HubSpot.

Coming? Bring socks.

Red Cross volunteers celebrated at annual awards banquet

The American Red Cross depends on volunteers to carry out its humanitarian work. Volunteers give of their time and expertise in all service areas, including Emergency Services. Each year, the Emergency Services team of the Eastern Massachusetts Chapter recognizes all of its hard-working volunteers at an awards banquet. This year it was held at Dave & Busters in Braintree. Congratulations to the 2012 Award Winners listed below!

Food and Nutrition Award: Mike Lee

Youth Programs High School Leadership Award: Lori Merlo of Bedford High School

Youth Programs College Leadership Award: Angel Han of Northeastern University

Emergency Services Instructor Award: Becky Alden

Rookie of the Year Award: Nick Guarda

DSHR Award: Robin Young, Robert Hartman, Ron Beckley

Disaster Action Team Support: Dave Pollock

Response Award: Julianne Peacetree

Behind the Scenes Award: (It’s a tie!) June Beckley and Frank O’Laughlin

Chandler Blackington Award: Paula Farrales

Grant “Jerry” Tice Award: David Ruete

Herbert E. Cook Award: Cathy Hatch

Ready When The Time Comes Award: Grainger

First Aid Stations Award: Kandi Finch, Kathy Callahan, Skip Farkas, Walter Kahn, Lynn Walz, Sam Diamond, Bill Collins, Meg Maloy,Bob and Miriam Boucher

Special Emergency Services Award: Lou Harris



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