As a community, Phoenixville is home to several businesses, organizations and churches that host frequent blood drives with the American Red Cross. About four years ago, Mike Gionta, whose job is to identify and recruit new blood drive partners in Southeastern Pennsylvania, brought Ettinger-Powers-Campbell VFW Post No. 1564 into the fold.
Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Red Cross account managers scrambled to find organizations willing to open their doors, the members of Post 1564 stepped up, not only keeping their doors open for blood drives, but adding more to the calendar. In fact, in 2021, the post held 16 blood drives, collecting 450 units of blood and helping up to 1,350 patients.
To Gionta, those numbers were impressive. Together, he and Post 1564 Commander Don Mahoney connected with the VFW Pennsylvania headquarters in Harrisburg and learned that the Phoenixville VFW did, indeed, collect the most units of all VFW blood drives in the Commonwealth.
“It’s a reflection of the giving spirit of Phoenixville and surrounding communities, and also a reflection of the importance of the Red Cross,” shared Mahoney.
On July 22, the Red Cross joined the Phoenixville Police Department and Mayor Peter Urscheler in honoring members of VFW Post 1564 for their community service.
“All of these partners working together – you are what inspires Phoenixville to be a giving community,” said Urscheler. “Thank you for all that you do!”
Photos from the ceremony are available on Flickr.
The Red Cross has faced a concerning drop in blood and platelet donations this summer. Donors are needed to make an appointment to give in August to help prevent a blood shortage. To schedule an appointment, visit RedCrossBlood.org or download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App.
PHOTO: Red Cross Business Development Manager Michael Gionta presents a plaque to VFW Pots 1564 Commander Don Mahoney on July 22, 2022 in Phoenixville. Photo by Alana Mauger/American Red Cross