On Saturday, June 12, the Portland Red Cross hosted the Charles Drew Blood Drive. It was a huge success, not just for bringing in blood donations, but for strengthening our Portland community. See photos and read more below:
Blood recipients are often most likely to find compatible blood for transfusion from donors of the same ethnic background. This becomes particulary urgent for illnesses where multiple transfusions can cause difficult cross-matching, such as sickle-cell disease, a blood disorder carried by 1 in 12 African Americans. The Charles Drew Blood Drive strives to educate the community on the importance of African Americans donating blood and signing up for the Bone Marrow and Organ Donor Registries.
This is the second Charles Drew Blood Drive that was initiated by Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Association, and, for the first time, included African American sororities and fraternities. Many sponsoring community groups attended, as well as two local African American artists Ann Willoughby and Bobby Fouther.
Also at the event was Donate Life Northwest heart recipient Rosie Tabb. Rosie has worked as an American Red Cross donor recruiter and received blood transfusions during her heart transplant.
Attending artist Bobby Fouther carries a personal connection to blood donation as well. He said, “My grandmother died of sickle cell before I was born. I know firsthand the importance of African Americans donating blood. Because we often share blood types and rare antigens, we can offer special hope to others with sickle cell disease.”
Many community groups made this event possible. We thank all parnerships and give special recognition to SEI and Champions Barbershop for their promotion and recruitment efforts. Additionally, our gratitude goes to sorority Zeta Phi Beta for recruiting one third of the drive’s blood donors and to sorority Delta Sigma Theta for providing special treats in the donor canteen.
The blood drive sponsors for the 2010 drive were: Delta Sigma Theta, SEI, The Links, Inc., Champions Barber Shop, Kappa Alpha Psi, Zeta Phi Beta, Phi Beta Sigma, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Kaiser Permanente African American Professional Association, African American Men’s Group and Omega Psi Phi.