Red Cross and Dunkin’ team up to encourage blood donations this August

By Dave Skutnik

Jessica Weissman (left), field marketing manager, Dunkin’ Brands, presents an oversized voucher to Guy Triano, regional CEO, American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania on Aug. 2, 2022 in Philadelphia. Photo by Alana Mauger/American Red Cross

Local blood donors are in for a treat this August. Dunkin’ of Greater Philadelphia is once again teaming up with the American Red Cross to provide 25,000 vouchers to American Red Cross blood donors in the region during August.

To thank donors who help refuel the blood supply throughout August, presenting donors will receive a Dunkin’ voucher for a free Medium Hot or Iced Beverage* and a free Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wrap Sandwich**, redeemable at participating Dunkin’ restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia area, while supplies last.

Dunkin’ and the American Red Cross celebrated the partnership today with a special media event at the American Red Cross Blood Donation Center. The Dunkin’ Community Cruiser was on-site, handing out free samples of Iced Coffee to celebrate the partnership kickoff.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Dunkin’ and encourage donors to give to help prevent a summer blood shortage,” said Guy Triano, CEO, American Red Cross of Philadelphia. “As you finalize your plans for the end of summer, make a blood or platelet donation appointment part of them and receive this special gift from Dunkin’.”

Donors who give now will help stock the shelves for the rest of the summer season. Schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

“Dunkin’ is excited to once again team up with the American Red Cross and reward deserving blood donors this August,” said Jessica Weissman, Senior Field Marketing Manager, Dunkin’. “We hope that by offering donors a free Medium Hot or Iced Beverage and Egg & Cheese Wake-Up Wrap, Dunkin’ will help encourage the Philadelphia community to stop by a local blood drive or donation center and donate blood this summer.”

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*Excludes Frozen Beverages. Offer not valid on Mobile App orders. Dairy alternative, espresso shots and cold foam may be an additional charge. Limit one per customer per visit. Shop must retain coupon. May not be combined with other offers or promotions. No substitutions. Consumer must pay applicable tax. Void if copied, transferred or sold and where prohibited or restricted by law. Cash Value 1/20 of 1 cent. Terms apply. Good at participating Dunkin’ locations in Kent and New Castle Counties, DE; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, and Salem Counties, NJ; Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia Counties, PA. EXP: 9/12/22.

** Offer not valid on Mobile App orders. Limit one per customer per visit. Shop must retain coupon. May not be combined with other offers or promotions. No substitutions. Consumer must pay applicable tax. Void if copied, transferred or sold and where prohibited or restricted by law. Cash Value 1/20 of 1 cent. Terms apply. Good at participating Dunkin’ locations in Kent and New Castle Counties, DE; Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Mercer, and Salem Counties, NJ; Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia Counties, PA. EXP: 9/12/22.

Phoenixville VFW recognized for hosting blood drives

By Alana Mauger

Red Cross Business Development Manager Michael Gionta presents a plaque to VFW Pots 1564 Commander Don Mahoney on July 22, 2022 in Phoenixville. Photo by Alana Mauger/American Red Cross

As a community, Phoenixville is home to several businesses, organizations and churches that host frequent blood drives with the American Red Cross. About four years ago, Mike Gionta, whose job is to identify and recruit new blood drive partners in Southeastern Pennsylvania, brought Ettinger-Powers-Campbell VFW Post No. 1564 into the fold.  

Then, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Red Cross account managers scrambled to find organizations willing to open their doors, the members of Post 1564 stepped up, not only keeping their doors open for blood drives, but adding more to the calendar. In fact, in 2021, the post held 16 blood drives, collecting 450 units of blood and helping up to 1,350 patients.

To Gionta, those numbers were impressive. Together, he and Post 1564 Commander Don Mahoney connected with the VFW Pennsylvania headquarters in Harrisburg and learned that the Phoenixville VFW did, indeed, collect the most units of all VFW blood drives in the Commonwealth.  

“It’s a reflection of the giving spirit of Phoenixville and surrounding communities, and also a reflection of the importance of the Red Cross,” shared Mahoney.  

On Friday, the Red Cross joined the Phoenixville Police Department and Mayor Peter Urscheler in honoring members of VFW Post 1564 for their community service.

“All of these partners working together – you are what inspires Phoenixville to be a giving community,” said Urscheler. “Thank you for all that you do!”

Photos from the ceremony are available on Flickr.

The Red Cross has faced a concerning drop in blood and platelet donations this summer. Donors are needed to make an appointment to give in August to help prevent a blood shortage. To schedule an appointment, visit RedCrossBlood.org or download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App.

6abc Red Cross Month blood drive helps rebuild blood supply

By Alana Mauger

The second 6abc blood drive was held on March 30 in the Fairmount Ballroom at Courtyard by Marriott on City Avenue. Donn Greenberg/American Red Cross

For the second year, 6abc partnered with the American Red Cross to hold a blood drive during Red Cross Month. Over 150 people came out to donate at the drive, which was held on March 30 at Courtyard by Marriott in the Wynnefield section of Philadelphia. The drive collected 142 units of blood – nearly double the units collected in 2020.

6abc General Manager Bernie Prazenica talks with Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Guy Triano and 6abc Vice President-Community Engagement Niki Hawkins while donating blood. Dave Skutnik/American Red Cross

“This is our second year of doing the blood drive, and last year was actually my first time [donating blood],” said Bernie Prezenika, 6abc general manager, who made his second donation on March 30. “We’re part of our community and we’ve taken great pride in supporting our community. There’s a need for blood that exists all the time, and right now it’s even more.”

Many 6abc employees came out to donate, including News Director Tom Davis, Assistant News Director Christine Bowley, Producer Stephanie Kirk and Reporter Trish Hartman, among others. Guy Triano, CEO for the Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Region, was also on hand to thank donors.

“There’s no substitute for blood donations; we rely on the donations of individuals who roll up their sleeves and help save a life,” said Triano.

Reporter Beccha Hendrickson reported live throughout the drive and spoke with many of those donors who generously rolled up their sleeves. She also produced several pieces leading up to the drive to build awareness about the need for donations.

For one of her stories, she spoke with Stacey Morris, a Montgomery County resident who has received around 20 blood and platelet transfusions after being diagnosed with acquired aplastic anemia in 2019.

Speaking directly to blood donors, Morris said, “Don’t be afraid to [donate]. Even if you’re scared, you have no idea how much it helps. I was so touched by the number of people who stepped up. I’m so thankful to everyone who helped me on this journey, especially the Red Cross.”

6abc Reporter Beccah Hendrickson interviews blood and platelet recipient Stacey Morris at the Red Cross Horsham Blood Donation Center prior to the 6abc blood drive. Alana Mauger/American Red Cross

Hendrickson also spoke to Crescent Foundation COO Tahirah Austin-Muhammad, who regularly receives blood transfusions to treat sickle cell disease – an inherited blood disorder that primarily impacts communities of color. Patients who receive many transfusions over a lifetime, like those with sickle cell disease, need blood that is more closely matched to avoid a life-threatening reaction. The more donations collected from a diverse pool of donors, the more likely a match can be found.

“There’s life in your blood, literally,” said Austin-Muhammad.   

In addition to the recipient stories, Hendrickson covered a blood drive at Chester County Hospital on March 15 to help promote appointment registrations for the 6abc drive.

Check out our full photo album from the 6abc drive on Flickr.

Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer Randy Miller donates blood at the 6abc blood drive.
Alana Mauger/American Red Cross

#LeadLikeClara: Mary Ann Santangelo, Blood Donor Ambassador + so much more

By Alana Mauger

Mary Ann Santangelo. Submitted photo.

Delaware County resident Mary Ann Santangelo was drawn to the American Red Cross for two reasons: its mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering and the fact that volunteers are essential to the organization’s work. In fact, 90% of that work is carried out by volunteers.

Mary Ann retired from a 45-year career in advertising to care for her late husband. Soon after he died, COVID-19 “reared its ugly head,” and she began her volunteer work with the Red Cross as a Blood Donor Ambassador – someone who helps the blood drive run smoothly and manages the blood donor’s experience.

“Seeing donors come out in full force despite the pandemic made me realize I was in the right place,” she said. “Having human interaction in a relatively safe situation feels good, for the donors and for us.”

After six or seven months of volunteering, Mary Ann began training new blood donor ambassadors – a role that she helped to create along with Red Cross Volunteer Services.

“Being a volunteer at blood drives gave me the hands-on experience that I could share with new volunteers. It’s a volunteer-to-volunteer experience.”

Since that time, Mary Ann conducts one or two training sessions per week. And that’s only a small piece of her Red Cross experience.

In addition to her volunteer work with Blood Services, Mary Ann is a member of the Community Outreach team. These are volunteers who share the Red Cross story in the community and recruit others to get involved. This work takes place in person, like at expos, health fairs and community events, as well as virtually. Mary Ann has done presentations for Lincoln University, the Delaware County Senior Center and even a Winnebago club! She credits her advertising career, as well as teaching at Temple University, for preparing her for this role.

Mary Ann was recently selected to be a Community Volunteer Leader for the Red Cross Delaware Valley Chapter. Here, she strives to connect with Delaware County organizations, like Rotary Clubs, township managers and veterans groups, that can help the Red Cross deliver its mission.

She also recently completed Youth Preparedness training, which enables her to teach children about disaster preparation. The Red Cross offers two programs: Prepare with Pedro (kindergarten through second grade) and The Pillowcase Project (grades third through fifth). Mary Ann has already taught both – and is LOVING it.

 “Volunteering for the Red Cross has been as exciting as the wonderful career from which I retired,” she said. “I’ve met great people, developed several close friendships and am having fun – all while helping the Red Cross deliver its mission. I look forward to each day when I will be doing volunteer work.”

Editor’s Note: In commemoration of Women’s History Month, we are publishing a #LeadLikeClara series of profiles featuring women volunteer leaders who emulate the leadership characteristics of Red Cross founder Clara Barton.

American Red Cross and Wawa kick off annual partnership

By Dave Skutnik

Emergencies don’t take vacations. They don’t even take off nights and weekends. But no matter when they strike, the compassionate actions of Red Cross volunteers, blood donors and community partners help ensure that families and individuals never face crises alone.

Wawa and its associates are also there for their communities 24/7/365. So, the Red Cross and the Wawa Foundation are teaming up to support people impacted by disasters big and small.

From February 21 through April 10, Wawa customers can donate their spare change to the Red Cross through the in-store coin collection campaign or round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar with the difference also going to the Red Cross.

In addition, Wawa coffee clutches will feature the American Red Cross logo throughout March, reminding customers of the important work the organization does in communities throughout the year.

“The Red Cross mission wouldn’t be possible without these community heroes,” said Guy Triano, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross in Philadelphia. “We are proud to honor their dedication in March during our annual Red Cross Month celebration.”

Local families rely on American Red Cross volunteers for comfort and hope while coping with homes fires and other disasters. In the past year, Red Cross volunteers helped thousands of people affected by home fires in the Philadelphia area alone. Red Cross volunteers were also there after devastating flooding and tornadoes tore through Southeastern Pennsylvania this summer and again when the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved through in September. This lifesaving work is vital to strengthening our community’s resilience.

“The Wawa Foundation is committed to building strong communities and one of our main focuses is to support the heroes who serve our communities every day. We’re pleased to partner with the Red Cross to help them provide lifesaving services and assistance to our friends and neighbors in their greatest times of need,” said Jay Culotta, Board President of The Wawa Foundation.

HOW YOU CAN BE A HERO

Donating spare change or rounding up your purchase at any Wawa store helps the Red Cross provide hope and urgent relief like food, shelter and other essentials. Donations are key to saving lives because they fund nearly 100 percent of Red Cross disaster relief activities. You can also visit redcross.org/philly to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, register for a class in lifesaving skills like CPR and First Aid, or become a volunteer for opportunities needed in the Philadelphia area.

Red Cross opened large weekend shelter operation in Philadelphia

By Alana Mauger

A large shelter was set up a West Philadelphia High School late Friday evening. Photo by Alana Mauger

The American Red Cross and Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (OEM) opened a large shelter at West Philadelphia High School late Friday evening for residents impacted by a fire in the basement of a 300-unit residential building in Center City. While there was no smoke or fire damage to the individual apartment units, residents were required to evacuate because all building utilities were turned off.

SEPTA bussed the residents from the initial evacuation site at the Mutter Museum, which was across the street from the impacted building, to the Red Cross shelter in shifts. By 2 a.m., approximately 175 residents were registered at the West Philadelphia shelter., with cots set up in both of the school’s gyms and in the cafeteria. More than 30 Red Cross volunteers worked in two shifts to staff the shelter until 10:30 a.m. Saturday, when residents were able to reoccupy the building. Because the majority of the residents were elderly and spoke only Mandarin, Disaster Health Services and translation volunteers played a critical role.

Red Cross disaster workers register residents at the shelter. Photo by Alana Mauger

Red Cross Regional Disaster Officer Erin Stephens notes that the sheltering event was a truly a collaborative effort between the Red Cross, OEM and community partners. Philadelphia Fire Department personnel set up approximately 180 Red Cross cots and provided overnight shelter support along with the Philadelphia Police Department. The Salvation Army provided pizza Friday evening, breakfast Saturday morning and helped distribute snacks to the residents as they left the shelter. SEPTA bussed residents to and from the shelter. The Red Cross provided approximately 180 cots, 350 blankets and pillows, 150 comfort kits and 1,500 snacks and bottles of water. In addition, several volunteers from our friends from Red Cross’ New Jersey Region stepped up to help.

“I am very proud of the teamwork that was happening, and I think everyone was very moved by our mission in this short, but very large, operation,” shared Stephen.

Red Cross team picture taken at the conclusion of the shelter operation Saturday morning.

The shelter operation came just hours after Red Cross caseworkers closed the last case from our region’s Hurricane Ida response.

“Much like the recent pivots we’ve had to make from the Bucks flooding in July to a tornado touchdown, and then from the Afghan evacuee activity at the airport to the Hurricane Ida operation, our team went from one significant response straight into another one,” she said.

Red Cross celebrates diversity with community partner Woods Services, launches ‘Cards for Peace’ initiative

By Alana Mauger

Red Cross SEPA CEO Guy Triano presented a proclamation to Woods Services President and CEO Tine Hansen-Turton on Oct. 25. Photo by Alana Mauger

Last week, American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania CEO Guy Triano joined Woods Services in Langhorne, Bucks County, to commemorate “One Woods. One World. Day.” Observed on Oct. 25, the day was established to coincide with United Nations Day (Oct. 24) to recognize the nonprofit’s efforts toward equity, diversity and inclusion. 

Triano presented a proclamation on behalf of the Red Cross to Woods President and CEO Tine Hansen-Turton, who also sits on the Red Cross Philadelphia Chapter Board of Directors.

“The American Red Cross and Woods Services strive for unity through the United Nations values of peace, justice, human rights, tolerance and solidarity,” said Triano during the presentation. “We wish to formally recognize Woods Services’ ‘One Woods. One World. Day’ and encourage all of you to share in these values.”

In addition to the Red Cross, presentations were made by staff members from the offices of Pennsylvania State Senator Robert Tomlinson and Pennsylvania State Representative Frank Farry, as well as by co-chairs of the Woods Equality, Diversity and Inclusions Committee. Hansen-Turton also dedicated the 53 international flags placed throughout Woods’ campus to celebrate the home counties of the organization’s diverse, 1,600-person workforce.

Following the presentations, Triano announced the launch of a new Red Cross collaborative initiative called “Cards for Peace,” which invites Woods residents and employees to make cards for veterans and military families in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The goal is to distribute 1,000 Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years and Valentine’s Day cards over the next year to clients served by Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals in Philadelphia and Coatesville and other multiagency resources centers throughout the region.

“This is a fun project and a way to be inclusive, in line with the Red Cross’ Diversity and Inclusion Initiative,” said Triano, who left the event with at least 20 cards in hand made by Woods clients during the presentation.

Red Cross SEPA CEO Guy Triano and Woods Services President and CEO Tine Hansen-Turton look at some of the cards made by Woods residents. Photo by Alana Mauger

About Woods Services

Woods Services is a nonprofit, multi-service population health management and advocacy organization that, along with six affiliate organizations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, provides innovative, comprehensive, and integrated health, education, housing, workforce, behavioral health, and case management services to more than 22,000 children and adults in the intellectual and developmental disability, behavioral, child welfare, and brain trauma public health sectors who have complex and intensive medical and behavioral healthcare needs. Founded in 1913 by Philadelphia schoolteacher Mollie Woods with two simple goals – to advance quality of life and standard of care for individuals with disabilities – Woods Services continues its mission today by helping children and adults with disabilities or challenges to achieve their highest potential.  Among the ways Woods does this is through its population health management strategy, which includes the integration of primary and specialty medical care with behavioral health in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  For more information, visit woods.org.

A Journey of Commitment and Empowerment

By Nancy Degnan

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s a perfect opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of a stable blood supply to support breast cancer patients and their needs.

We are all on this journey together. One way the American Red Cross carries out its humanitarian mission is through partnerships with groups like the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Breast cancer patients have shared their stories of surviving and thriving by receiving the gift of lifesaving blood donations. These “ pink ambassadors” know the importance of cooperative endeavors to save and enhance lives, made possible through the energy and commitment of volunteers. Together, the Red Cross and the National Breast Cancer Foundation provide hope by keeping us informed with key resources, education, and outreach programs. For more inspiration, check out National Breast Cancer Foundation Awareness Month and American Red Cross.

Ways to get involved

If you’re an eligible donor, we encourage you to help support patients by giving blood, plasma, or platelets. All blood types are welcome and needed! The Red Cross follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need.

Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. You must be at least 16 years old, in good health, and weigh at least 110 pounds. Power Red (double red cells) can be donated every 112 days, up to three times a year. Platelets can be donated every seven days, up to 24 times a year. To find out more about donation and eligibility, please read our Frequently Asked Questions section, where you’ll find plenty of information on the requirements for each donation type.

If you want to become a donor and would like more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org.

To find a blood drive and make an appointment, you have multiple options. One way to make an appointment is by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App. You can also sign up online at RedCrossBlood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). You can even enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

What to know about the Coronavirus and Blood Donation

The Red Cross wants to keep you informed about COVID-19 protocols as we consider your health and well-being a priority. You are eligible to donate blood, platelets, or plasma after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more by reviewing the categories outlined on our website. These include: Red Cross donation safety protocols, COVID-19 vaccine and blood donor eligibility information, travel and deferral information, and ways to limit the spread of germs and prevent infection.

Navigating the MARC: A next step in Ida recovery

A Red Cross disaster worker meets with impacted residents at the Montgomery County MARC on Sept. 8. Photo by Alana Mauger

By Alana Mauger

This week, the American Red Cross is participating in several MARCs – an acronym that has become very familiar for those individuals and families impacted by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. A MARC – or a Multi-Agency Resource Center – is a one-stop shop for those in need of services to help them begin recovery.

Chester County residents pick up Red Cross clean-up kits on Sept. 9 at the Chester County MARC. Photo by Donn Greenberg.

The Red Cross participated in MARCs in Montgomery County at the Intermediate Unit in Norristown and in Chester County at the United Sports Training Center in Downingtown on Sept. 8 and 9. The Red Cross will also participate in a MARC at the Gustine Recreation Center in Philadelphia on Sept. 10 and 11 (noon- 8 p.m.).    

Red Cross disaster workers prepare to staff the Montgomery County MARC on Sept. 9. Photo by Elisabeth Von Baldas.

But what really happens at a MARC? For the Red Cross, MARCs allow disaster workers to meet face-to-face (with masks, of course) with impacted residents to 1) open casework for those who qualify; 2) connect with Red Cross disaster workers in the field to conduct damage assessment on properties not yet surveyed; and 3) provide relief items like clean-up kits, snacks, water and toys for children. Red Cross Disaster Health Services volunteers are also on hand to help residents replace medical items that may have been lost or damaged.

Red Cross disaster worker Janice Thomas meets with a client at the Chester County MARC on Sept. 9. Photo by Dave Skutnik.

In addition to the Red Cross, participating agencies have included the Salvation Army, Legal Aid of Southeastern PA, ACLAMO, Victim Services of Montgomery County, PennDOT, Your Way Home, Community Connections, Veteran’s Affairs, CareerLink, Pennsylvania Insurance Commission, SEPTA, National Flood Insurance Program and county and local emergency management agencies, among others.

Red Cross Southeastern PA CEO Guy Triano and Disaster External Relations Lead Janice Winston talk with Montgomery County Commissioners Dr. Val Arkoosh and Ken Lawrence Jr. at the Montgomery County MARC on Sept. 9. Photo by Alana Mauger.

Dunkin’ and Red Cross Team Up to Encourage Blood and Platelet Donations This August

Jessica Weissman (left), field marketing manager, Dunkin’ Brands, presents an oversized voucher for a free medium Iced Coffee and Classic Donut to Rosie Taravella (center), CEO, Red Cross New Jersey Region, and Helen Munizza (right), regional donor services executive, Red Cross Penn Jersey Blood Services Region.

By Dave Skutnik

Local blood donors are in for a sweet treat this August. Dunkin’ of Greater Philadelphia is once again teaming up with the American Red Cross to provide 24,500 vouchers to American Red Cross blood donors in the region during August.

To thank donors who help refuel the blood supply throughout August, presenting donors will receive a voucher for a free Medium Iced Coffee and a free Classic Donut, redeemable at participating Dunkin’ restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia area, while supplies last. Vouchers are not redeemable for cash.

The American Red Cross continues to experience a severe blood shortage and donors of all blood types – especially type O and those giving platelets – are urged to make an appointment to give now.  

Right now, the Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet current demand as hospitals respond to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, organ transplants and elective surgeries.

“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Dunkin’ and encourage donors to give to help with the severe blood shortage,” said Rosie Taravella, CEO, American Red Cross of New Jersey. “As you finalize your plans for the summer, make a blood or platelet donation appointment part of them and receive this special gift from Dunkin’.”

Donors who give now will help stock the shelves for the rest of the summer season. Schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

“Dunkin’ is thrilled to once again team up with the American Red Cross to reward deserving blood donors this August who are helping the community in this critical time of need,” said Jessica Weissman, Field Marketing Manager, Dunkin’. “We hope that by providing donors with a free Medium Iced Coffee and Classic Donut, Dunkin’ will encourage the Philadelphia community to stop by a donation center and roll up a sleeve to help save lives.”

To learn more about Dunkin’, visit www.DunkinDonuts.com or follow Dunkin’ on Facebook at @DunkinUS or Twitter at @DunkinDonuts.