My most recent blood drive at Texas Christian University (TCU) was a major success, and I was elated to see so many people join me by rolling up their sleeves to help save lives. Dozens of students at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, rallied together for a worthy cause. In November, members of the TCU community came out to donate blood during a blood drive I coordinated on campus on behalf of the American Red Cross.
Hi, my name is Winter Harris, and I'm a TCU sophomore studying strategic communications on a pre-law track. I'm also a communications intern with the Red Cross North Texas Region and TCU's blood drive coordinator, a role I have held since my first year. Since then, I've helped host multiple blood drives with a team of passionate students who want to make a positive impact in Fort Worth.
In my role, I help promote the blood drive to students and members of the TCU community, encouraging them to sign up on the Blood App. I work with the Red Cross's Biomed staff to ensure the TCU facility is ready when they arrive.
The day of the drive comes, and I'm in the room to welcome the Red Cross phlebotomy team. They set up the tables and equipment, and I received the first donor just before they were ready to open. More donors kept coming throughout the day. We had a couple of walk-ins who were able to donate. A would-be donor or two did have to reschedule because they were not eligible. Typical reasons people must reschedule include low iron levels, low or high blood pressure or low or high hemoglobin. At the end of the day, we had 34 people come through the door who could donate, making it a successful drive.
I became involved with the Red Cross due to my passion for serving the community. I met the regional coordinators and staff of the North Texas Region while I was a high school student at DeSoto High School, and we've been working together ever since. My values aligned with the organization, and I was privileged to see firsthand how much impact they were making.
As a student council officer, I worked closely with the regional Red Cross team to host blood drives, educate the community on sickle cell disease, and encourage volunteerism among youth. The work paid off. I helped lead DeSoto to become the No. 1 high school in the nation with the most African American donors for sickle cell blood drives!
My work promoting a diverse blood supply continues at TCU. Our recent blood drive proves my commitment to positive community health and well-being. I love checking the Red Cross Blood Donor app to see where my blood goes and who it helps. I plan to donate for years and hope others will join me. Knowing that I can save a life is so rewarding!
I encourage every person, no matter how old or young, to get involved with the Red Cross, too! Find a blood drive near you and schedule your next appointment by visiting RedCrossBlood.org. If you want to volunteer with Red Cross North Texas, check out RedCross.org/Volunteer.