North Suburban YMCA Partners with the American Red Cross to Host Community Blood Drives
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, many of the organizations that hosted blood drives for the American Red Cross, such as churches and schools were closed, leading to an urgent need for blood and places to donate it. The closures of these buildings over the past 18 months have led to a critical supply shortage.
"Over the past year, we saw so many blood drives canceled so we made a decision to start an ongoing partnership with the American Red Cross, right after shelter in place happened in 2020," said Kathy Fielding, CEO of the North Suburban YMCA. "Even during the pandemic, we discovered that people wanted to donate, they just didn't know where to do it safely, so it made perfect sense to use to use our facility to help in their efforts."
With many record-breaking blood drives so far in 2021 and 3 more on the books in November, December and January of 2022, the American Red Cross has already collected over 600 units of blood, saving well-over 1800 lives. Most blood donors have come from the community and are members of the NSYMCA.
"We not only have saved thousands of lives this year, but we had over 60 new participants donate for the first time and put into the blood donor system," stated Kim Nyren, director of Community Investment. "Through this commitment, we have learned that hosting the blood drives in a safe, clean environment like our YMCA help increase donor participation and we are proud to be a part of it."
The American Red Cross Account Manager for Donor Recruitment, Lisa Peterson said that although registrations for the May and June blood drives filled up quickly and actually exceeded the Y's goal in donations, appointments have suddenly declined throughout the U.S., making these drives even more important than ever.
"The dedication and hard work that the Y has put into saving lives through blood donation has been a great success over the last year," said Petersen. "The need for blood is constant and we have an emergency need right now, and the Y proves to be a great center for people to feel comfortable and inspired to give back by giving lifesaving blood. We are very thankful and proud of our partnership with the NSYMCA."
The American Red Cross added that people deciding whether to give blood to note that the entire process of donating lasts no longer than 45 minutes to an hour, with the time spent actually collecting the blood lasting about 8-10 minutes. They also stated that participants may donate every 56 days for whole blood and 116 days for Power Red donations.
The next Y blood drives will be held on 11/2, 12/7, and 1/6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. To register for any of these blood drives at the NSYMCA, visit the Red Cross. For more information on the North Suburban YMCA visit nsymca.org.
About the North Suburban YMCA
The North Suburban YMCA services Northbrook and 14 surrounding communities with programs and tools that help its residents become healthier, more connected, and confident, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age, income, or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive. The NSYMCA focuses on Youth Development, Healthy Living, and Social Responsibility and is a 501(c)3 charitable organization, inclusive and welcoming to all in our community. Learn more at NSYMCA.org.