By Noreen Walton, American Red Cross volunteer
For February 2022 Volunteer of the Month Adrianna Lopez, the connection between her work life and volunteer life is seamless. As the Blood Services Onboarding and Training Lead for Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, Adrianna introduces incoming Blood Donor Ambassadors to their work, which includes checking in donors, reviewing donor identification information and visiting them post-donation in the refreshment area. She also continually reminds these volunteers how important their work is.
Adrianna’s job as a lab assistant and phlebotomist at Redlands Community Hospital reinforces the importance of American Red Cross blood donations. “My work at the hospital sometimes takes me into the Emergency Room or with mothers who are in labor,” Adrianna said. “I see, firsthand, how much we depend on blood supplies, for emergencies and for transfusions.”
A graduate of UC Riverside, Adrianna plans to attend medical school next year. “Volunteering for the Red Cross is a great first experience if you are considering a career in health care.” In her five years volunteering with Red Cross, Adrianna has met many wonderful blood donors.
One meeting stands out for her. “I was sitting down with an elderly couple who had donated blood for the first time. When I asked them what made them decide to donate, they told me that their son had recently been hospitalized and had received a transfusion. To them, the decision was simple. ‘Why wouldn’t we want to donate blood for someone’s son, for someone’s child? Donation saved our son’s life.’ It was a powerful message.”
Adrianna feels a special bond with her Blood Donor Ambassadors. “Some come for community service hours, some to fulfill required nursing program hours, some simply for the joy of volunteering. But we all share the same interest – helping others.” Her message to anyone thinking about volunteering with the Red Cross is simple. “If you want to be in a place where good people are doing good work, volunteer with Red Cross.”
To learn more about becoming a Red Cross volunteer, please visit redcross.org/volunteer.