Blood donation events are one of the things that the American Red Cross is known for.
In early February, Four Rivers CrossFit in Fruitland was the site of a blood donation event which, according to Donor Recruitment Department Account Manager, Jake Reines, that blood drive exceeded the projection of 25 units to be collected by “over 200 percent of our goal” with 46 units obtained.
When speaking about the blood drives that have been held in the Western Treasure Valley recently, Reines had an interesting trend to note.
“At all of our blood drives, we usually exceed when we go out to collect,” said Reines in a phone interview on Monday afternoon.
He said that for blood drives, donors are only one part of the equation, it also requires physical space that is provided by the sponsor. A sponsor, to the Red Cross, is people or organization that donates a building or space for donations to be taken in.
“It’s definitely not the lack of donors, it’s a lack of sponsors to host the drives,” explained Reines.
He went on to say that what is needed is a “wide open area” like a gym, that is “well lit” and where the temperature can be controlled.
Reines said that near the beginning of February, the Red Cross held a blood drive at Four Rivers Cultural Center in which they collected 55 units when that drive’s goal was 46 units.
“Since COVID, people have stepped out to help,” he said.
In terms of what is needed from a sponsor to host a blood drive aside from the physical space, according to Reines, is “tables and chairs.”
“We can do the rest, snacks and juice. It doesn’t cost anything for a sponsor to host a blood drive,” said Reines.
Four Rivers Cultural Center Executive Director, Matt Stringer, in an email received on Monday said that the Center has “sponsored blood drives here once a month since last March.”
Stringer said that Center staff reached out to the Red Cross when they started working with the health department “to support their efforts with COVID.”
He said that since the first blood drive in March, the Cultural Center has held a total of 12 blood drives.
Reines said that people who are interested in donating can schedule an appointment by visiting the Red Cross’ website at https://www.RedCrossBlood.org/, calling (800) 733-2767, or by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor smartphone app.
He said that the app actually has the capability of tracking a donor’s personal donation all the way from collection to the intended destination.
“It goes full circle, you can see where it goes,” said Reines.