The YMCA is partnering with local blood banks to help solve the blood shortage due to the coronavirus temporarily shutting down large companies and colleges that would usually host blood drives in its parking lots.
“We appreciate the YMCAs of Tampa Bay for their lifesaving partnership,” says Amy Lee, Manager of Donor Recruitment, OneBlood Pinellas & Polk Counties.
That's why the YMCAs of Tampa Bay stepped up with OneBlood and LifeSouth to act as hosts on Friday, April 17th, offering locations from the YMCA of the Suncoast to YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg. Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCAs will hold a blood drive in May.
“I’ve made a habit of times of giving blood and I think with what’s happening today and there is a shortage of blood. I think it’s important for all of us have the opportunity to do that,” said YMCA of the Suncoast President/CEO G. Scott Goyer.
OneBlood, which partnered with several Pinellas YMCAs, reported a total of 76 donors, which equals 228 lives will have been positively impacted by the selfless giving of those at the YMCA. LifeSouth says 26 people donated blood at the Citrus Y and eight at the Hernando Y branches.
“I belong to this branch. So, I saw it on the news, that’s why I came. When I saw it was at the Greater Palm Harbor YMCA, I figured I’d come here to give blood. I have O-Negative,” says Y member and donor Barry Cummings, who is only 7% of the population who has O- blood, yet it is the blood type in the highest demand. O- has an amazing power to save anyone in need of a blood transfusion. Donors with this powerful blood type are called the universal donor because their red blood cells can be transfused into any patient, regardless of the recipient’s blood type.
Bloodmobiles are also taking extra precautions to ensure participants in the blood drive can still practice social distancing as best they can. OneBlood is using a sign-in sheet and will call the donor when it’s their turn and when there is room within the mobile bus to start the donation process. No more than four donors will be allowed on the mobile bus at a time. Staff will clean and decontaminate by spraying disinfectant on beds between donors and periodically wiping down other frequently-touched surfaces like handles, clipboards, pens, etc. Staff will wear gloves and a disposable mask.
The Tampa Y will host the following donation blood drives at 10 YMCA locations across Hillsborough and East Pasco counties to ensure ready blood supply for the community:
Thursday, May 21, 11am - 5pm
- BOB GILBERTSON CENTRAL CITY FAMILY YMCA | 110 E. Palm Ave. Tampa, FL 33602
- BOB SIERRA NORTH TAMPA YMCA | 4029 Northdale Rd. Tampa, FL 33624
- CAMPO FAMILY YMCA | 3414 Culbreath Rd. Valrico, FL 33596
- EAST PASCO FAMILY YMCA | 37301 Chapel Hill Lp. Zephyrhills, FL 33542
- NEW TAMPA FAMILY YMCA | 16221 Compton Dr. Tampa, FL 33647
- NORTH BRANDON FAMILY YMCA | 3097 S. Kingsway Rd. Seffner, FL 33584
- NORTHWEST HILLSBOROUGH FAMILY YMCA | 8950 W. Waters Ave. Tampa, FL 33615
- PLANT CITY FAMILY YMCA | 1507 YMCA Place Plant City, FL 33563
- SOUTH TAMPA FAMILY YMCA | 4411 S. Himes Ave. Tampa, FL 33611
- SPURLINO FAMILY YMCA | 9650 Old Big Bend Rd. Gibsonton, FL 33534
All donors will receive a free OneBlood t-shirt and a free wellness checkup including blood pressure, pulse, temperature, iron count and cholesterol screening. For more information or to make an appointment visit oneblood.org/ymca or call 1.888.9.DONATE (1.888.936.6283).
Caption) YMCA of the Suncoast President/CEO G. Scott Goyer donates blood on a OneBlood bus at the Greater Palm Harbor branch on April 17th.