Wednesday, February 1, 2012

From Battle of the Badge to Bridgefarmer & Assoc.: Celebrating National Blood Donor Month

Battle of the Badges
by Linh Le, American Red Cross

On Monday, I was caught in a situation I never imagined myself to be in—sandwiched between a Dallas police officer and Dallas Fire Rescue official. At just over 5 feet tall this should have intimidated me but I knew the secret, I wasn’t in trouble! We were all there for a common cause. Battle of the Badges, a friendly competition pitting first responders against each other to see which organization collected the most votes and blood, had officially kicked off and I was there to witness it all. 
While the first responders bantered back and forth over the winner, I couldn’t help but stop and think about the magnitude of their mission today. Yes, we all know that everyone likes to win, however the real winner wasn’t even here. They transformed the opportunity to save lives into a friendly competition. Even with bragging rights on the line and the trophy prize lighting up the competition, every responder knew why they were really herefor patients who need blood. These men and women respond to the worst accidents across our city and see first hand the impact of disaster. The drive, with their giving spirits, made it clear these individuals want to help, not only in the moment of tragedy but also in the moment of healing.  
And the best part is the competition isn’t over yet! Now it’s your turn. Want to donate and help the Dallas Fire Department steal this year’s trophy from two time champ, Dallas Police? 
Find the next drive and vote for your favorite. Competition wraps on Wednesday, February 8 at the South Central Dallas Police.  
(see photos of drive below)

Life Saving Lunch
by Lilly Watson, American Red Cross
My name is Lilly Watson and I work for the American Red Cross North Texas Region. As you can imagine, I love my job. One of my favorite parts of working at the Red Cross is how much fun it is to help people of all professions and backgrounds be part of our global mission of service. It happened just the other day with a Dallas-based civil engineering firm, Bridgefarmer & Associates, Inc., when they decided to host a drive from their own offices.
Over the holidays I met up with some friends of mine after work. They are all roadway designers at Bridgefarmer, meaning they update and design new roads and transportation methods to keep all of us moving safe and quickly. When I mentioned that traffic accidents are one of the top three reasons why a person may need a blood transfusion, my friends told me how much they wanted to donate blood to go above-and-beyond their civil service of keeping people safe on the road. Only problem is, it’s too hard to find time to give blood when you work full-time in an office, right? Thankfully, that’s not the case! The Red Cross is always happy and appreciative to work with companies to host corporate blood drives that bring a way to give back right to your office.
Just six weeks after our conversation, Bridgefarmer was hosting a blood drive in their office building. Not only was there a full schedule of their employees donating throughout the day, they advertised the drive to the rest of their building and recruited donors from other businesses as well. With the help of the Red Cross Blood Services staff, a conversation became a commitment through a big idea and a little planning. 
If a company can provide a suitable space and commit to recruiting donors, the Red Cross works with them every step of the way to plan the blood drive, providing advertising materials, and bringing all of the equipment and supplies needed for them to safely and professionally collect donations. 
Everyone at Bridgefarmer was excited to contribute to the effort, from their CEO who donated alongside his staff, to their accountant who brought his griddle to work and made fresh pancakes for donors to keep their blood sugar up. If you are looking for a way to liven up your workplace for a day while giving back to the community together, contact the Red Cross about hosting a corporate blood drive. It is a safe an easy way to save a life without ever needing to leave your office!       

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