Luke Lindsey joined the Red Cross of Georgia as a Regional Philanthropy Officer in October 2018. At that time, he had never donated blood.
Now, he rolls up his sleeve every 56 days—donating whole blood as often as an eligible donor can.
“Being here at the Red Cross and learning more about the need—that’s really all it took for me to start donating,” said Luke. “I just wasn’t aware there was such a huge dearth, in terms of the life-saving blood already on the shelves.”
It wasn’t that Luke hadn’t been around blood drives before. In fact, during his previous tenure at the Atlanta History Center he walked by blood drives being held on campus, quite regularly.
“When you hear of a blood drive happening, you don’t feel the urgency, Luke added. “Not like you do when you work at the Red Cross.”
Luke said his understanding of the Red Cross mission helped him see the light—that there are people suffering in hospitals and emergency rooms everyday who rely on the compassion of blood donors to alleviate that suffering. He also said he would see other people donating at blood drives and think that they were satisfying the need.
“My mom was a nurse and my dad recently underwent lung transplant surgery—so I knew a bit about the kinds of patients that rely on donated blood. I guess I just never thought about donating myself because it seemed like other people were already getting out to the blood drives and taking care of it.”
Currently, the ratio of available type O blood is just six units to 100,000 people—although at least twice that amount is needed every day in the U.S. But, while the need for type O blood is currently critical, platelet and blood donors like Luke - of all blood types - are urged to make a donation to help trauma patients, cancer patients, new mothers and others who depend on lifesaving blood products to help them overcome life-threatening conditions.
“It’s so easy to give—it really only takes about an hour to complete the process and the actual donation is often less than ten minutes long,” Luke told us.
Those eligible to donate blood are encouraged to schedule a blood donation appointment today by using the Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Individuals can also open the Red Cross Blood skill on an Alexa-enabled device with a selection of prompts such as, “Alexa, open Red Cross Blood Skill” and ask, for example, “Alexa, find a blood drive.”