I believe that sharing and storytelling are two of the greatest attributes that someone can possess. The Color Red: Save a Life, Donate Blood is the gift that never stops giving and I would like to begin by sharing a story. If I were to invite you to breakfast and have biscuits and I had all the ingredients to make biscuits, yet I chose not to share with you, you would be hungry and upset to have missed the most important meal of the day. Let us look at this story and replace biscuits with blood. If I have blood in my body, and all the “ingredients” to make more blood, yet chose not to donate, one would be upset as they missed their chance on a lifesaving blood transfusion due to the lack of a donor. In 2019, I “shared my biscuits” for the first time after not really understanding the importance behind what I had done. My actions from that day resulted in my blood being given to a pediatric patient in Birmingham, Alabama. The way I felt after receiving that news is a feeling I long for others to experience.
As a Community Volunteer Leader, Blood Drive Coordinator and Blood Services Ambassador with the Northeast Tennessee Red Cross, I stay determined to keep blood available to save lives. From my work as the 2019 Tennessee Red Cross Youth Engagement Lead, to the many roles I serve in now, I have helped over 300 people sign up to become registered blood donors, and that number is only growing. My initiative allows people to become community heroes, just like I was to the little boy in Birmingham. I have a role that makes it easy to get people to donate. From hosting numerous blood drives with the Red Cross, including sickle cell specific drives, “Fashion for a Reason” fashion show advocating for blood donation, to setting up informational booths and sharing what I do with community leaders from Mountain City to Lexington, I am passionate about getting people to roll up their sleeves. Aside from our great state, I have traveled from Washington to the coast of South Carolina sharing my story and letting American’s know that they are a hero, they just have to share their superpower.