Blood Drive 2022

Though this is our fourth consecutive year of hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive, we are always still amazed by the great turnout of donors and support of volunteers that help run the event! This tradition began in honor of our very own Marie Joyner receiving multiple blood transfusions during her cancer treatment. The blood transfusions gave her the strength to continue with her treatment and she has since been cancer-free! At Our Companions, we are so grateful for those donors that helped Marie, we want to encourage our community to donate blood to continue helping those in such crucial need.

We checked in with a couple of OC team members as they were giving blood. We caught Veterinary Program Manager, Caroline, checking in with Red Cross staff to ensure she was all set to give blood that day. We also met up with Beth Vincent, Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and a Family Paws Parent Educator (FPPE), who is a vital role in both our Canine College dog training program and Parenting with Pets program.

As Beth was waiting for her turn to donate, she tells us that she’s actually terrified of needles! CEO Susan Linker encouraged her to donate when we started our very first blood drive a couple years ago at our Valerie Friedman Program Center. Beth decided that she would get over her fear for the greater good and found out some interesting information during her first giving session. She was told her blood type is O Negative, which is also considered the universal blood type. Given that it can be universally given to people of all blood types, there’s usually a high demand and short supply because it is given in emergency situations and for immune deficient infants. Beth, learning this new piece of information about herself, has continued to give blood every year and at other blood drives. She even tracks her blood giving on the Red Cross app! We are incredibly appreciative of Beth and her willpower to get over her fear of needles to help those in need of this vital life source!

Our donors are definitely a big part of our blood drives, but the day wouldn’t be such a success without the great support of volunteers that help facilitate the event. Welcoming donors, checking them in, and helping them connect with the Red Cross team certainly helps things run smoothly and helps donors prepare for their blood giving.

Our 2022 drive was also a bit different than previous years. Every donor automatically entered a raffle to win a $250 Cumberland Farms gift card! The lucky winner happily enjoyed his day with a tank full and maybe some snacks too! This year we collected 51 units of people, bringing us to a total of 211 units of blood given since the beginning four years ago! So incredible! We can’t thank enough the people, staff, volunteers, and the Red Cross team, that make each year another triumph in the books! We look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come!