Why It’s Never Ever ‘Just Another Corporate Red Cross Blood Drive’

Q&A: a Perspective from a Blood Donor and Vonage Employee.

Red Cross Blood Drive at Vonage Business Solutions
Senior Accountant Laurie Simpson participates in a “double red cell donation” at the recent Red Cross blood drive at Vonage Business.

Last week’s Red Cross Blood drive at Vonage Business Solutions headquarters on Peachtree Street resulted in strong attendance and donation levels that exceeded the target goal. Vonage proudly supports the American Red Cross as a charitable partner, and participation in events such as blood drives or emergency preparedness training are additional ways the company lends support.

Watching the stream of Vonage employees filing in to donate blood, and overhearing some of the conversations, there was an obvious sense of duty among the donors. It also appeared to be a very personal experience for employees – an important, optional company event they would not miss.

We asked one of the donors, Laurie Simpson, if we could interview her to better understand why she chose to volunteer as a blood donor. Laurie is a senior accountant here at Vonage Business, and she spoke with us during the donation process. We thought her personal insights were worth sharing:

Question: Why did you decide to sign up for the blood drive today?
Laurie Simpson: I’ve given blood a number of times since I was in high school, and I try to make it something I do regularly. A couple years ago, my sister had to have four blood transfusions due to a low red blood cell count. And it reminded me how important it is for someone to take the time and donate to help someone else.

Q: What’s the name of the donation procedure you’re involved with now? It looks different.
A: I’m doing the Double Red Cell Donation, which basically allows you to donate double the amount of blood. A special machine separates and collects two units and then safely returns the remaining blood components – platelets and plasma – with saline back into your arm. It takes a little longer, but you are able to give twice as much blood without feeling dehydrated.

Q: Why do you think Vonage Business participates in volunteer events like this?
A: Allowing employees to donate blood is a prime example of how our company supports our community in a positive way. We’re encouraged to participate in our volunteer events. And for me, as an employee, it’s something I can personally do to help in the community where I work.

Q: Why are there so many employees here today?
A: Like me, I believe my coworkers really enjoy being able to give back. It is a wonderful feeling knowing that because of our 30 minutes of donating blood, someone else’s life may be saved.

Q: What would you say to people who have reservations or may be scared of giving blood?
A: Some people are just apprehensive, or they focus on the remote chance that they might feel dehydrated afterward, or pass out. But, if they take the time to research and follow some easy steps, giving blood is actually easy. The Red Cross always provides a very professional team that makes the experience pleasant. It’s good to drink plenty of fluids and have something healthy to eat afterward, which the Red Cross has provided here today. I think it’s worth it to try to overcome your fears about giving blood – and believe that your donation might actually save someone’s life. It’s something you can do to make a difference.

Blood Drives Matter: How to Get Involved

Laurie Simpson is right: According to the Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, and more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day. Facts like these serve as a reminder that there’s no such thing as just another corporate blood drive. Every pint counts and every donor is valued.

Interested in getting your organization involved in a Red Cross Blood Drive? Check out the www.RedCrossBlood.org website to learn about hosting a blood drive, to locate a blood drive or to volunteer. And if you’ve never given blood, you’ll find great information about the blood donation process and what to expect.

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