Anyone in sales knows how difficult it is to make a “cold-call.” The very notion of reaching out to someone who is not-at-all expecting to hear from you, and trying to sell them something they didn’t know they needed, is not the most statistically-significant way to attract new customers.
About two months ago, however, a woman stopped by the temple and introduced herself to me as “Beverley Stambaugh, the Senior Account Representative of the Donor Recruitment Department for the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross” … quite a mouthful, to say the least. To be sure, I did not remember one single word of her title until this very moment – I have her business card in my desk drawer to thank for that!
What I had no trouble remembering, though, was the reason she came to see me.
Simply put, as a representative of the American Red Cross, Bev’s job is to recruit facilities to host ARC blood drives. Enough said! With unanimous support from the TBI Board of Trustees, I set out to recruit donors.
In conversation with Ms. Stambaugh, we were entered into the ARC database for a “first-timers” quota of 28 pints, and I was given approximately 8 weeks to fill the 38 available donor-spots on the sign-up sheet (they anticipate that some who sign up will either not show up or be able to donate). When I told her I thought their number was low, given our congregation’s willingness to reach out to those in need, she listened but remained confident that “28 pints” was where we needed our goal to be.
On Friday evening, February 4, I began signing people up for the blood drive. On Sunday, February 6, I got a few more. And on Tuesday, February 7, I was delighted to call Beverley, to let her know that 34 slots had already been filled… without advertising. That afternoon, our goal was raised to 58 pints.
While this response is wonderful for so many reasons, I am happy to share with you that – at this point – we are now on target to host what will be the largest blood drive in the entire York area for this year!!!
I could share with you a whole bunch of statistics, but suffice it to say that the need for blood donors is – as always – critical. While the ARC estimates that 97% of Americans will, at some time in their lives, need blood… only 5% of Americans ever donate blood.
The Talmud tells us, “Whosoever saves one life, it is as if they have saved an entire world.” (Babylonian Talmud Tractate Sanhedrin 37a)
If you are at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, are in generally good health on the day of your donation, and have not donated whole blood since February 13, 2011, YOU MAY BE ELIGIBLE TO SAVE A LIFE!
Saving a life sounds great, BUT… What if you had the chance to save TWO LIVES with one donation???
With a process called “Double Red Cell Donation,” only the red cells (the part of your blood needed most) are collected. Twice as many red cells are taken, while the rest is returned to your body, along with saline for extra hydration. At the end of the collection, you actually feel better (both physically and spiritually!) than when you started! And you will have saved TWO LIVES with one donation! What could be better?
If you would like to be considered for a Double Red Cell Donation, please indicate your interest when you call for your appointment time. (Your final eligibility will be determined by the ARC staff at the time of donation.)
If you would like to be considered for ANY blood donation, please sign up for a scheduled time by either speaking with me directly, or by calling Toni in the temple office… 843-2676. Any medical questions will be handled ONLY by the Red Cross staff, in confidence.
Let’s save lives!
Rabbi Jeffrey R. Astrachan