A Blood Drive Like No Other
Although a host of other events have been canceled due to COVID, the Valley Torah blood drive remains – now more important than ever. In an ordinary year, fewer than 38 percent of the population is eligible to donate blood or platelets – a number which has shrunk as COVID renders many unable to donate due to health concerns.
While the supply has shrunk, demand has only grown, with every two seconds marking another child or adult in the United States that requires blood.
However, November 17th provides us an opportunity to make a difference. Anyone eligible over the age of 16 can save up to three lives with a single donation. Simply show up to the social hall of Shaarey Zedek – 12800 Chandler Blvd with a form of identification.
Seeking answers to further questions, I talked with Eliyahu Kublin – the director of this year’s Valley Torah blood drive.
- Q: What health precautions are being taken this year in-light of COVID?
A: We are making sure all patients have their temperature taken prior to the donation and use hand sanitizer after confirming a normal temperature reading. We are receiving donations that will be taken with ample social distancing space. All Red Cross staff members as well as donors, will be required to keep masks on at all times. In addition to masks, staff members will be wearing gloves for appointments, which will be routinely changed for health safety. For the refreshments after the appointment, patients will likely eat/drink outside or in an area separate from the collection part of the room.
- Q: What can you tell us about the incentives for donations this year?
A: Beyond the moral benefits and the post-donation refreshments, there will be Red Cross t-shirts. We might have some gift card rewards as well, and if we’re lucky enough, Red Cross socks.
- Q: Considering the year’s challenges, are you optimistic about the volume of donations?
A: I think I’m automatically optimistic since it’s my first drive I’m running as the head organizer. I think the covid-19 related challenges might push people away out of possible inconvenience or worries of getting sick, but it might invoke the opposite. The need for blood donations now is much greater than before since people were more hesitant to give over the past few months. Despite this, I think the community and the school together can support a drive hosted by the biggest shul in the valley. There’s plenty of people eligible to give. Jewish people know the value of chessed and how much a human life means to this world. And as long as the word gets out about the drive and how much hospitals need blood donations at this time, our community, as well as anyone willing to participate, will be happy to make it a success.