Amanda Mayes, who has hemophilia, was hospitalized at age 20 and received two blood transfusions. She remembers being so grateful to the nameless blood donors who saved her life! Knowing she could never thank them, Amanda decided to express her gratitude by giving her time to the American Red Cross.
As a Red Cross Blood Donor Ambassador, Amanda supports blood donors during their donations. She travels to area blood drives to ensure a smooth and comfortable process for the donors, from the time they check in through after-donation care.
It seemed a natural fit for Amanda, who was a pre-med student in college surrounded by students sharing their hospital experiences. Currently a medical assistant at a local hospital, she wanted to do something meaningful in an area where she knows the need firsthand.
The Biomedical Services Department, where Amanda volunteers, collects, processes, and transports blood and blood products throughout Northwest, Central and Southeast Ohio. Nationwide, the Red Cross is the source of about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and provides blood for patients in approximately 2,600 hospitals across the U.S.
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide.
As Amanda reflected on her time with the Red Cross, she called people “inherently good,” commenting on not only her personal experience but on the most recent hurricane disaster recovery efforts and the outpouring of support from complete strangers. Red Cross volunteers and others all across America pushed pause on their daily lives, left their homes and their families, or gave financial support for people they did not know in areas of the country they might have never have seen.
The community created by the Red Cross is something that speaks volumes to those of us who have witnessed it for ourselves. Amanda has had the opportunity to build relationships with blood donors and volunteers alike, noting that “it’s very humbling to see the kinds of people the Red Cross brings together.”
As the Red Cross continues to support the recovery of people affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, the need for blood and blood products is as pressing as ever. The Red Cross encourages eligible donors in parts of the country unaffected by the recent severe weather to give blood or platelets to help ensure a sufficient blood supply.
- Platelet and type O blood donations are especially needed right now.
- The Red Cross depends on generous volunteer blood donors to provide lifesaving blood for those in need – each and every day – not only during times of disaster.
- Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting http://www.redcrossblood.org/, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Ninety-four percent of the American Red Cross workforce is volunteer. To learn more about dozens of opportunities to use your skills and develop your interests, visit http://www.redcross.org/volunteer/become-a-volunteer#step1.