2021 – A Good Year for Blood Donations at the GMVRS!
As Northern Virginia and the nation cautiously made their way through a second year of pandemic-related precautions and life-style adjustments, the American Red Cross (ARC) and the Greater Manassas Volunteer Rescue Squad (GMVRS) built upon their years-long partnership by setting a new one-year record blood donation at the Squad’s Hutton Hall in Manassas. On Monday, December 6, 2021, at their last blood drive of the year, 45 units were collected, which resulted in over 500 units (523 to be exact) of life-giving blood donated at the GMVRS site this year. This is the first time over 500 units have been collected in one year at the GMVRS. Based on ARC data, one unit of whole blood has the potential of saving the lives of three patients.
As it happened at Monday’s drive, Manassas City Council Member Theresa Coates-Ellis (pictured), who is a registered donor and long-time advocate of the ARC blood donation program, came in to make her donation. While giving blood, Councilwoman Ellis commented; “The opportunity to give blood to save lives is one real and tangible way for those who are eligible to give to our community this holiday season and throughout the year. I encourage those who are able to contact the American Red Cross and become a donor.” Ms. Ellis is also the current Chairperson of the Loudoun-Prince William Chapter of the ARC’s Biomedical Committee. Stephanie Newman, who is pictured (right) with and took Ms. Ellis’ donation, is the ARC’s Supervisor for blood drives in Loudon and Prince William Counties.
According to Steven Bratland, Biomedical Services Account Manager for the National Capital and Greater Chesapeake Region, who coordinates ARC blood drives throughout Northern Virginia, the GMVRS site is now the largest single location/partner blood collection site in NOVA. The site’s 460 registered donors, representing community support, are essential to the program’s success. Theresa Thompson (left), a member of the GMVRS Auxiliary, has been the Squad’s ARC liaison since 2005 and has served as the on-site donor registrar and host at nearly all the drives. According to Theresa; “Since the pandemic started, we have increased the number of blood drives at the Hall because a number of other local host sites were no longer available to the Red Cross.” The Squad hosted 14 drives in 2021, and already has 12 drives scheduled through August 2022. Members of the GMVRS are responsible for set up and tear down of the Hall prior to and after each event.
The GMVRS Hutton Hall is located at 9322 Center Street, Manassas, VA 20110. For more information about the American Red Cross blood donor program and find out on how to register to become a blood donor or the American Red Cross website at https://www.redcrossblood.org. For information about the GMVRS, its mission and volunteer opportunities, please go to its website at www.gmvrs.org.
Article by: Pete Rockx, President GMVRS (12-8-21)