By Christine Welch, American Red Cross
During a disaster response for the American Red Cross Southern California Region, many may come into contact with Art Remnet. For four years, he has served as a volunteer lead in Information / Planning and Government Relations, leveraging his background in IT and project management. Art has supported a number of large-scale disasters including the Holy Fire, Woolsey Fire, Apple Fire, the recent wildfires in Southern California and the Ontario neighborhood fireworks explosion incident.
When Art heard of another important need for blood drive hosts as thousands of blood drives were being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he didn’t hesitate to roll up a sleeve for the task.
He learned that about 80% of blood donations are made at blood drives held at businesses, schools and organizations which are convenient locations for blood donors in the community. With the pandemic affecting operations at some sites, many drives weren’t happening as planned impacting the blood supply.
Art approached his homeowners association to request the use of their facility to hold a community blood drive. He shares that previously he wasn’t too familiar with biomedical line of service and that shouldn’t deter anyone from reaching out as the Red Cross blood donor services team is there to assist hosts.
Since raising his hand to volunteer in late 2020, the Rossmoor Homeowners Association has consistently held blood drives on the third Wednesday of every month, and collected 457 blood donations as of November 2021. The units collected help hospital patients in need of blood transfusions – ranging from trauma and accident victims, to organ transplants and mothers or newborns experiencing complications after childbirth.
The blood drives are a staple event and very community-oriented, Art shared. On hosting a blood drive, “It goes beyond what I can do as one person and forges a greater opportunity to foster an even greater community. Everyone needs help at some point.”
When asked what it takes to hold a blood drive, he shares, “It’s really easy to host a blood drive, the Red Cross does it all with set-up and take-down. As long as you help secure the location, everything else is turnkey.”
For their role in helping maintain the blood supply and supporting the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross, the Red Cross Southern California Region recently recognized Art Remnet and the Rossmoor Homeowners Association. Many thanks to our Southern California Region volunteers making a difference across all Red Cross lines of service!