Summer time is almost here, and while most people are planning their summer travels, we at Carter BloodCare are hoping to get enough donors and drive coordinators volunteering their time to provide enough blood to meet the needs. Summer is historically a tough time for blood centers, and we try hard to ensure there is enough blood on the shelves to help patients in the community. In the summer, we face many challenges in recruiting donors, one of the biggest is the weather.
It is definitely not a secret that Texas summers are hot. Very hot. It comes as no surprise to us that donors are not as willing to sit out in the heat while waiting to give life. In the summer, we have less drives in general, largely because schools are out of session and therefore not hosting drives, and many people travel during the summer months. In addition, the heat has begun playing a large factor in the lack of donors.
On average, bus/outdoor summer drives see close to 15 donors. Throughout the rest of the year, outdoor blood drives average at least 20 donors per drive. Five donors doesn’t sound like a large number, but it adds up when you take into account that number at each blood drive. In addition, some drive coordinators host drives at their place of work, which often includes warehouses or other outdoor jobs. This means those drive coordinators have no other option during hotter months, so it is up to us to find more people who can host indoor drives.
If you normally host an outdoor drive, it might seem like a challenge to move your drive indoors, but we are here to help you ensure the entire process is as simple as possible. For indoor drives, the requirements are slightly different. Indoor drives require a minimum space of at least 900 square feet, within 300 feet of a restroom. Indoor drives require the coordinator to provide at least 6 tables and 14 chairs as well as a cleared out space to work with. However, once donors experience the refreshing air conditioner, they will be more than happy to give life.
For drive coordinators with no other option but to host drives outside, it is important to take steps to keep donors comfortable, and more importantly, safe. If possible, please look into locating drives somewhere that is close to the facility, preferably in the shade. Since buses arrive early and need space for parking, you are able to block off the ideal space to host a drive that is cool and convenient for donors.
When scheduling drives, make sure to let your recruiter know whether or not you prefer an indoor or outdoor drive. Once you have a date in the books, your recruiter will visit your facility to see if an indoor drive is possible.
It is only through the continued support of loyal blood donors that we can ensure the blood we are using today will be replaced and available for those in need of it tomorrow. We will continue to do our part to help those willing to volunteer their time with us to have a positive experience at all times.