“It is indeed a very rewarding experience,” he says about his role as a platelet donor. “One leaves the donation center feeling great about having done something to help others. You walk away knowing you have just potentially saved someone’s life and given them a second chance. This is just incredible and very motivating as well.”
After retiring a year ago from his specialty food business, Ron feels that “life has definitely become more relaxing” for him and he is determined to “do something significantly more valuable” with his time, whereupon he decided to take volunteer shifts at the front desk of the Oakland Blood Donation Center once every couple of weeks. He is the friendly face who helps donors with the check-in process and ensures that they have a pleasant experience from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave.
Ron is committed to making all donors feel welcome and appreciated. “You must make them feel special because they are doing something special. They are not only giving their blood, or plasma, or platelets, but also their time. While you are at the front desk or working at the refreshment tables, you meet people with the same mindset as yours, strike up a conversation and make friendships. It is a very rewarding experience,” he says.
More than 25,000 volunteers support Red Cross Blood Services. Besides being a Blood Donor Ambassador, volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in delivering lifesaving blood products to nearby hospitals. If you’d like more information about volunteering opportunities near you, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.
When Ron is asked about his overall experience as a volunteer he proudly says: “It is always a privilege to be a Red Cross volunteer, particularly because it’s a non-political organization. It is there to serve all humanity. I like the idea to serve anybody and everybody.”