A donation of blood can make a world of difference to a patient at the City of Hope, especially in the month of July.
“We see a shortage of donors during the summer months, so it’s really a struggle. Our needs are really great,” said Jill Schwarz, Manager of Donor Recruitment for the City of Hope’s Blood Donor Center. In addition to six nurses, two recruitment staff, and the bloodmobile driver/technician, Schwarz was one of ten people from City of Hope working at .
The blood drive was also sponsored by the, which was giving away 30-day VIP passes and a free personal training session to anyone who donated blood, said gym owner Brian Whelan.
Schwarz said that she’d worked at a blood drive inside of the Foothill Gym last year, but since they’d been able to bring the bloodmobile for this year’s drive, had graciously allowed them to set it up in their parking lot.
“The advantage to having a bloodmobile is not just the space but the visibility of the bloodmobile itself,” Schwarz said.
She said that ordinarily, they aim to recruit a minimum of 50 donors in a 6-hour period. But given that it was a hot July day, and many people were probably away on vacation, they’d be happy to receive at least 30 donors. They wound up getting 33 pints, she said.
After reading and filling out paperwork, donors completed a short interview and then donated a pint of blood inside the City of Hope’s large bloodmobile. Afterwards they were asked to sit for 15 minutes to recover, and offered water, juices, chips, cereal bars, and cookies. Schwarz estimated that on average, the whole process usually took about 45 minutes.
“The main thing is the juice. Basically, we’ve taken 520 milliliters of fluid out of your body, so we want to give you something to replenish,” Schwarz said.
Gina Roybal of Monrovia was one of several donors sitting inside of the bloodmobile who had just donated blood. She said that this was the second time that she had donated blood, and that “absolutely,” she would do it again.
“The staff was wonderful. Very accommodating, very kind, and very organized,” she said.
Phillip Gross of Monrovia was a first-time donor who said he had given blood because he was walking down the street and noticed the booth and the big bloodmobile. “They made it very obvious that you can come donate. Their presence is known,” he said.
Gross said that he felt like it took less than half an hour to donate, and that they’d offered him a wide variety of foods afterwards, but he just accepted some pineapple juice.
“My main reason to do it was to help people,” he said. “It’s really the right thing to do.”
Recruitment coordinator Tracee Elder was one of two people handing out forms to the potential donors from the booth outside of the bloodmobile.
“If anyone is interested in scheduling a blood drive, we’d love to hear from them,” she said.
For more information about organizing an on-site blood drive for the City of Hope, contact the Blood Donor Center at 626-256-HOPE ext. 65624.