For the third consecutive year, Frasca Family Dental hosted an American Red Cross blood drive at their practice in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Red balloons and heart and red cross-shaped sugar cookies welcomed visitors to the blood drive hosted by Tiffany Circle member and Frasca Family dentist Sydney Frasca. The reception area inside the Frasca practice served as a waiting area where donors registered and had a quick snack before heading out for their appointment in the blood mobile.
Sydney sat down to talk about what inspires her to help the American Red Cross and her relationship with the Red Cross in Northeast Massachusetts. She’s the first one to talk about what the American Red Cross does for the community and how anyone, including her patients, can help those in need.
How did you become involved with the American Red Cross?
Years ago when a natural disaster would strike I would send a check, whatever I felt I could do at that time. One time after a disaster I was invited to a donor appreciation cocktail party. I thought maybe I’d go, not stay long. I didn’t know anybody. When I walked in, I felt at home instantly. Everybody was very friendly and I just felt like I was supposed to be there.
I met Lauren Baker and she had a Tiffany Circle bracelet on, I’d never heard of it before. She gave me some information and I went home that night and got on the internet and read about the Tiffany Circle organization. I met with Freddie Doeringer, Executive Director of the Northeast Chapter of the American Red Cross again. We talked some more and the wheels started in motion. I decided to join the Tiffany Circle of the Red Cross, and donate $10,000 annually to the local chapter of the Red Cross. This helps families here in Northeast Massachusetts who have had house fires or flooding. It’s nice that that money is spent to help our local community.
How many blood drives have you sponsored?
This is our third annual blood drive. Last year we had our drive on a hot day and people sometimes feel light headed after donating, so we moved it to October. Maybe next year’s will be in November. I ask patients when they come in for cleanings, so by moving the month I’m able to ask different patients.
It’s nice for me because I’m familiar with patients and their medical histories, so I’ll know if they are disqualified due to medications. Only 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, because of travel or diseases. It’s a great natural conversation I can have with patients very easily. Anybody who is eligible, I ask them. And if they can’t donate blood, I let them know of other opportunities; the food pantry, there is a campaign to install smoke detectors in at-risk homes, all sorts of volunteer opportunities. I tell my patients you don’t necessarily have to be donating blood to help the Red Cross.
Any closing thoughts?
When people hear Red Cross, they think of nature disasters, they don’t necessarily think of house fires or CPR training. When you turn on the news every night, you are going to hear what the Red Cross is doing, and it is people at their most vulnerable being helped. That’s what compels me to give and speak about the American Red Cross.