The entire staff seemed to be running around like chickens with their heads cut off when Serena got to work. No matter who she spoke to, they all seemed to be stressed and in a hurry. She finally asked one of the staffers what was going on.
“We don’t have anyone to run the blood drives,” the staffer told her.
“What do you mean we don’t have anyone?” Serena asked. “We’ve been having blood drives for as long as I’ve been here. Who was organizing them?”
“The woman who was doing it was hospitalized last night,” the staffer said. “We don’t know when she’ll be able to come back to work. She had an assistant, but he resigned yesterday.”
“Why?” Serena was beginning to understand the stress that was running rampant in the building.
“I don’t know,” the staffer said, turning to leave. “I just know we need to find someone to do it soon. We’re running low on our supply. We can’t afford to lose our donations.”
Serena thought about what the staffer had said over her break. The CRMC was the leading trauma center around; they were in constant need of blood. Patients would be brought into the center after a bad car accident or something like that, and many times were kept alive only because of a blood transfusion.
In addition to being the leading trauma center in the area, there were many patients who received blood treatments at the center for other reasons, including diseases of the blood. Serena was especially concerned about these people, because she had a personal connection to the issue. A few weeks earlier, her good friend told Serena that her son had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL. Not knowing anything about ALL, Serena had done a considerable amount of research; in her reading, she found that the treatments for ALL included blood transfusions. She and her husband had decided that they would start participating in blood drives as often as they could. They had gone to the medical center and donated blood, but she also knew that most people only thought about donating blood when there was an event that called their attention to the need for blood.
Putting her coffee aside, she went to the human resources department. “I’d like to take over the organization of blood drives,” she told the clerk, who looked a bit surprised, but got her the information she needed nonetheless. He gave her several binders.
“This one has a list of regular donors and their phone numbers,” he said. “This one has the contact information of people in other departments who you might need to talk to, and this one is the list of regulations for blood drives.” The last binder was the heaviest, and papers were sticking out of it at odd angles.
“No wonder you don’t have someone yet,” Serena said, eyeing the regulations binder. It even looked daunting.
“It’s not that bad, really,” the clerk said. “The nursing staff already knows what to do, so your job is more marketing the event than anything.” Reassured, Serena took the binders with her to flip through.
For the next few days, Serena worked to get the binders in order. She retyped much of the material, printed it out, and organized it in the binder so that all the information was categorized and easy to find. She then went to the marketing department to set a date.
“I want to triple the number of donors that we have at the next drive,” she told the marketing director. “We have a loyal base of donors, but it’s not a lot of people. Not as many as we need to donate blood in order to treat all the people that come through here.”
“Okay,” the director said. “You know they had already set a date before you took over?”
“Oh?” No one had told Serena that a date had been set already. “When is it?”
“Two months from now.” She smiled at Serena. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us if you want to triple the number of donors.”
For the next few weeks, Serena worked on the blood drive effort in addition to her regular job at the Errand Solutions desk. She made phone calls, printed up flyers, and posted advertisements in every community bulletin board she could find around town. A month before the drive, the number of donors who made appointments had doubled from the last drive. Seeing her progress, Serena redoubled her efforts, and started making calls from her home phone and on her days off, trying to get the word out. She did her best to explain to everyone she spoke with why blood donations were important.
The day finally arrived, and the drive went off without a hitch. The nursing staff was even more prepared than the human resources clerk had led her to believe; they were juggling the many appointments Serena had been able to secure, along with quite a few walk-ins, with perfect professionalism. At the end of the day, Serena helped to clear away tables and other supplies before sitting down to organize the books and write up a final report to put in the binder as a reference for the next drive. She looked at the information carefully, paying special attention to the number of donors. When she had a tally, she checked it against the number from the last drive. Then she checked again.
It was just over three times more than the last drive.