Blood donations are crucial. They help patients suffering from injuries, chronic illnesses, heart surgery, cancer and more. Many of these conditions can be life-threatening, but a single blood donation can help save more than life.
“It helps a lot of people,” said Rebekah Jones, an American Red Cross phlebotomist. “A lot of people don't realize how many people need blood in a day, and it's a lot,”
During National Blood Collectors Week, September 3 – 7, the Red Cross is honoring the phlebotomists, volunteers and blood donor recruiters who work tirelessly to collect blood and for the invaluable service that they do for their community.
“When I worked in the military, I was injured and couldn't donate blood. So, I chose to do the next best thing,” Randy Williams said. Williams has been a Red Cross phlebotomist for six years now. “I love what I do."
National Blood Collectors Week encourages people to recognize people who work in blood collection and seeks to increase the number of blood donations.
“National Blood Collectors Week promotes blood donation week and encourages a lot of donors to donate blood,” Jones said. “We have a huge spike in donors after National Blood Donation Week every year.”
Red Cross phlebotomists and volunteers are passionate, devoted workers who put in hours of work every day. The Red Cross provides about 40% of the nation’s blood supply thanks to their efforts.
“I've had a lot of friends who need blood, and that's such a fulfilling experience to see other people who need blood getting it," Jones said.
Blood donors and phlebotomists aren’t the only people welcome at blood drives and donation centers. Blood ambassadors also play a vital role in the donation process, and for younger applicants, being a blood ambassador can provide volunteer hours.
The Red Cross also offers several blood collection career opportunities, including phlebotomist, registered nurse apheresis and blood collection manager.
“Something that most people don’t know about the Red Cross is that you can get a job without any training or medical background, and they’ll train you,” Williams said. “I walked in here as a bus driver.”
The Red Cross is dedicated to alleviating human suffering and making a difference. One of its most important roles is blood collection. Red Cross volunteers, phlebotomists and everyone who helps collect blood impact the lives of countless people all over the world.