By Ray Lapine
The South Puget Sound & Olympics Chapter of the American Red Cross continues to collect lifesaving blood despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. A recent drive at the Capitol Mall in Olympia was publicized by the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce as part of its “Tie our Community Back Together” campaign.
Instead of a ribbon cutting, the campaign features a “ribbon tying” to call attention to businesses that are reopening after closing because of the pandemic. The first event was held Tuesday, June 9 and they anticipate this campaign continuing until phase 4, when all businesses are allowed to resume normal operations.
Of course, the Red Cross in the South Sound never stopped holding blood drives, but Chapter Executive Director Daniel Wirth says working with the Chamber campaign was another opportunity to remind the community that the Red Cross blood donation program was open for business.
Wirth says blood drives had some ups and downs at the beginning of the pandemic. Some were even cancelled. But since the Red Cross has been able to communicate the essential nature of the need and safety measures in place at its drives, people have shown their willingness to give blood.
“Folks are happy that we are there and want to be able to donate,” Wirth says. “Folks are stopping by and sharing their Red Cross stories. That’s always neat to see.”
The South Sound part of the Chapter plans to keep getting out the message that there are measures in place to keep people safe from Covid-19 when they give blood. Wirth says, “Donating blood can help save up to three lives” so it’s a “great way to give back to the community.”