May 10, 2020
The United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County team embraces any opportunity to give back in creative ways.
COVID-19 has created a lot of unique challenges for nonprofits, and the American Red Cross is no exception. Due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations, equalling hundreds of thousands of blood donations lost across the country, they are more in need of donors than ever before.
“Our work never stops, even during this crisis, and we remain focused on delivering our lifesaving mission each day,” said Lizzie Gilbert of the American Red Cross’ Blood Services. “Every two seconds someone needs a blood transfusion. Although the world feels different right now, the need for blood does not go away.”
When United Way staff member Jim McLaughlin heard about this need, he knew his colleagues would be willing to step up. So, on May 6, United Way hosted a blood drive for the American Red Cross at their Milwaukee office.
Measures were taken to ensure both donors and Red Cross staff could stay safe, with everyone wearing masks, staying safely distanced, and limiting the number of people in the building at one time.
At this blood drive, forty-one donors provided 37 units of blood, which will touch the lives of an estimated 111 local hospital patients and their families.
“I participated in the blood drive because it was a safe and simple but effective way to contribute to others' well-being during this crisis,” said Dave Berka of United Way.
“The American Red Cross team put me at ease; the actual act of giving blood was painless - and the opportunity to belly-laugh with the amazing staff was priceless and much appreciated in the midst of Safer at Home,” said Mimi Laflin, another United Way team member.
“This is the time to take care of one another, and blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of those in our community,” said Lizzie. “In times of crisis, the Red Cross is fortunate to witness the best of humanity as people roll up a sleeve to help those in need.”
Feeling inspired? Visit the American Red Cross website to find a blood drive in your area and consider a donation to United Way's COVID-19 Urgent Needs Fund.