On May 22, 2021, HLFYA Katie Sheehy hosted a blood drive for her Independent Service Project. Katie’s mother works for the New York Blood Center and brought to her attention the fact that hospitals across the country were experiencing extreme blood shortages due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This inspired Katie to organize a blood drive in hopes of helping to save the lives of patients in need.

Once she came up with her concept, Katie worked with town officials to organize a date on which she could use the local Townhouse as the location for the drive. Katie also worked in conjunction with a blood drive coordinator from the New York Blood Center. They guided Katie through the planning process and helped to spread the word about her blood drive to repeat donors in the area. To market the drive, Katie put up posters around her town, posted fliers on social media, and had an advertisement put into the newspaper.

On May 22, 2021, Katie held her blood drive in the Pelham Townhouse. Everything ran very smoothly thanks to the wonderful team from the New York Blood Center whom she worked with. Katie was responsible for arriving at the venue at 8 am to ensure that the blood center drivers had access to the building in order to set up the room efficiently. She was then able to participate during the drive by helping to maintain the canteen stations, disinfecting computer screens, greeting donors on their way in, and by thanking them on their way out. The drive closed at 4:15 pm and Katie remained at the venue until the blood center drivers cleaned up and the janitor came to lock the building.

More than 50 people come out to try and donate! By the end of the day, the drive had successfully collected 52 units of blood, surpassing Katie’s goal of 45 units! According to the professionals running the drive, an impressive number of first-time donors came out too! It was a wonderful experience and so great to see her community come together to support such an amazing cause!

Written by 2021 HLFYA Katie Sheehy