Every blood drive coordinator has a special reason for doing what they do. For Jenna Rome, it started with her own personal experience. When she had a fluke accident a couple of years ago, Jenna ended up with a concussion that caused a bleed in her brain. She was on the verge of surgery for the first time in her life and realized how scary it can be to face a potentially life-threatening situation. Fortunately, her brain healed itself overnight, and she avoided surgery.
Shortly thereafter, Jenna began working at a digital advertising agency that regularly hosted blood drives through Carter BloodCare. When asked if she wanted to donate blood, she was eager to give. “Though I wasn’t in a position where I needed a blood transfusion, I imagined all of the tragic accidents or illnesses that weren’t just close calls like mine. And I’ve been donating regularly ever since,” she said.
Once Jenna started giving blood, she realized how important it is for millennials like herself to donate—and to host blood drives. So when her company’s drive coordinator moved out of state, she stepped up to the plate.
“For me personally, seeing the impact a blood donation makes is not only motivating, but it also humanizes the entire process,” she said.
When it comes to recruiting donors around the office, Jenna keeps it positive. “I’m a planner, but I’m definitely not a pusher. I tell my coworkers that I would love for them to donate and offer to sit with them during the process to entertain them with stupid jokes if they’ll take the time. But I’m not going to force anyone to do something they aren’t comfortable with.”
Now, Jenna is working to show millennials why it’s so important to give to make sure future generations will have the blood supply they need. “My hope is that we can set an example for the next generation to continue the practice of giving blood.” She also added that she was surprised at how many of her colleagues said yes to giving, even if they never had before.
If you’re interested in coordinating your own blood drive, please email BookABloodDrive@carterbloodcare.org and we’ll help you set up your drive.