By Sean Inoue, Red Cross Biomedical Services
The American Red Cross has been hard at work ensuring there is enough blood for patients during this ongoing crisis. However, we cannot do our work alone. Most blood drives take place because of generous partners in the community including schools, hospitals, community organizations, cities and other civic organizations. To thank them for their dedication and hard work in being partners, every month we will identify and feature two community partners that have gone above and beyond in their critical role to ensure a stable blood supply. The “Service Spotlight” is our way of saying “thank you” to our generous and paramount partners.
Crenshaw Christian Center
Since April 2020, Crenshaw Christian Center has hosted seven blood drives, collecting 339 units of blood and potentially saving more than 1,000 lives. Brenda Bennett, vice president of administration at Crenshaw Christian Center and a regular blood donor, is instrumental in the success of these blood drives. Brenda and her team enthusiastically call their regular donors asking them to give blood prior to each blood drive and provide support with a team of volunteers.
Their team of volunteers come in and help take temperatures at the door, register donors and provide snacks. Pastor Fred K. Price, Jr., is also a regular blood donor, who is always enthusiastic about giving blood and encouraging his congregation to do the same.
With close to 7,000 members, Crenshaw Christian Center is one of our largest and most active Faith Based Affiliates,” said Kendall Dunlop-Korsness, acting director of community and Faith Based programs. “The church regularly hosts blood drives, and last year, they hosted the Red Cross Faith Breakfast. They also hosted a Sound the Alarm event to install free smoke alarms and teach home fire safety.
“They are a pleasure to work with and embody the values of generosity, service and compassion,” she said.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) has been a long-time supporter of the Red Cross, providing funding for disaster responses like Hurricane Harvey and most recently, our collaboration with Los Angeles Unified School District to feed those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Westfield has generously opened their doors to host blood drives at several of their flagship destinations: Century City, Valencia Town Center, Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks and Topanga + The Village. These locations provided socially distant spaces to host blood drives safely during the pandemic. URW has played a key role in ensuring a stable blood supply. Support from URW and our local community has allowed us to collect nearly 900 units of blood, which could save up to 2,700 lives.
Host a Blood Drive
About 80 percent of blood donations are made at drives hosted by community organizations, schools and businesses. With the current pandemic, the Red Cross urgently needs the help of both donors and drive hosts to ensure blood products are readily available for patients.
Learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Thank you to this month’s blood drive partner spotlights and to all who host blood drives in their communities to help us meet this essential need.