The Red Cross depends on dedicated volunteers to fulfill its’ mission and has a variety of volunteer positions available to accommodate whatever your schedule may be. One volunteer opportunity available is our Blood Transportation Specialist.
Dennis Michaud of the Connecticut Red Cross had been a blood donor for many years while he was employed full time. When he retired in 2014, he joined the Red Cross as a more active volunteer. Working in Disaster Services didn’t really fit his lifestyle, so he
opted instead to work in Blood Services where he could choose his shifts as a blood donor ambassador, helping other blood donors before and after their donation.
In March 2016, the Red Cross wanted to launch a startup program for blood transportation services that could be run by volunteers. Since Dennis had a background in distribution, he was able to help assist in getting the program off the ground. Dennis was the sole driver for the first year of the operation, working 2-3 shifts per week to try and work out all the bugs in the system before it could be opened as a volunteer opportunity to all volunteers.
The Connecticut Red Cross supports the overwhelming majority of hospitals in the state as well as a few facilities in New York and Massachusetts with blood donations. When these facilities have a specific need for a certain type of blood, whether it be because their supply has been depleted or because of an accident, surgery or transfusion needed, they contact the Red Cross. The request is then processed by the Farmington office and a volunteer driver will deliver it to the facility.
In the past year, the program has now expanded into transporting blood donations from Red Cross blood drives, saving additional resources by no longer having to pay courier services.
“It’s a great volunteer position because it’s a specific need that can be met right away,” said Dennis. “I’ve had nurses and orderlies meet me at the hospitals so grateful that I was able to bring them what they needed. It’s very rewarding. Giving back and helping others in need is what it’s all about.”
For more information on becoming a Blood Transportation Specialist and all other volunteering opportunities, please visit redcross.org/volunteer.