Since 2010 I’ve helped organize an annual blood drive at TKO Graphix in support of Indiana Blood Center. I didn’t initiate the blood drive, TKO held them before I joined the team, but for the last eight years, with the help of the Indiana Blood Center, I’ve put them together. So, here are a few of the things I’ve learned.
Keep Good Records
My first two years I lacked organization primarily because didn’t keep good records. And to make matters worse, the blood center had records, but I didn’t access them. By the third year, I figured it out. Today I keep notes on previous volunteers, which is where I begin the call to donate the following year.
Educate the Staff
Once again the Blood Center has plenty of educational resources, but they have to be distributed and explained. Had I used these materials to teach myself and then shared the information with potential donors; I would’ve saved time, donation spots, and not wasted the time of teammates who learned when they attempted to give blood that they didn’t qualify.
Promote the Blood Drive
My first year I wasn’t aware that the Blood Center had marketing materials, let alone staff to help hosts market the event. The center makes it easy with downloadable posters, facts and figures, and promotion ideas.
Motivate the Team to Take Action
This one was difficult for me in the beginning. Not that I can’t motivate co-workers but that I tried too hard. I pushed, cajoled, and embarrassed people into signing up to donate. My approach was inconsiderate, and it was inefficient. People that feel forced into action are less likely to honor their commitment. I had a lot of no-shows until I changed my approach and stopped trying to convince people to donate.
Schedules the Donor Appointments
Even after I stopped pushing folks to donate and regardless of how well I educated potential donors I would have cancellations the day of the drive. What I learned to do was identify two or three donors who had the flexibility to fill in for a cancellation.
Why It’s Important for Your Community
Rather than spew my opinions about the significance of a blood drive for your community I’ll let the Indiana Blood Center share a few facts.
“Every two seconds, someone needs blood – Every minute, patients use more than 36 units of blood or blood products. Every day approximately 40,000 units of blood are used throughout the country.
The blood supply needs constant replenishment – Every day more people are diagnosed with illness such as cancer, leukemia and sickle cell disease, all which utilize blood for treatment. In treating chronic disease and illness, many people may require up to 200 units of blood.
One pint of blood can help up to three people – Each unit of blood can be separated into four components – red cells, plasma, cryoprecipitate and platelets. These components can help as many as three different hospital patients.
Nearly all blood used for transfusion in the United States is drawn from volunteer donors – Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelets can be donated every 7 days. Double red cells can be donated every 112 days. Plasma can be donated every 28 days.
There is no substitute for human blood – Despite all the research, there has been no replacement of human blood found.
5 More Reasons to Host a Blood Drive
A unit of blood is roughly equivalent to a pint – Adult males have about 12 pints of blood in their bodies and females have about eight pints.
Giving blood has health benefits – Each donor receives a free mini-physical that checks for anemia, body temperature, pulse and blood pressure.
Four easy steps to donating blood – Medical history, mini physical, donation and refreshments.
The average blood donor gives two times a year – If all blood donors gave three times a year, blood shortages would be a rare event.
Donating blood saves lives – The number one reason blood donors say they give is because they want to help others. Now is your chance to give back. Donate blood today and you will not only be helping others, you will be saving lives!” — Indiana Blood Center Donor Page
Are You Ready to Host A Blood Drive?
If you’d like to host a blood drive check with your local blood center, I’m certain they’ll be ready, willing, and able to help. Have You Hosted a Blood Drive?