Vanessa Whitney receives regular updates from the Red Cross so she knows when there's a blood drive in her area.
According to the Coastal Virginia chapter of the Red Cross, more than four-fifths of its blood donations come from mobile events or events sponsored by organizations. That’s why the drives at Thomas Nelson, last week at the Historic Triangle campus and this week in Hampton, are so important.
“Stops are well-received on campus,” said Spencer Riddick, who has worked for the Red Cross for more than 30 years and was the self-described “person in charge” at the Williamsburg drive.
Vanessa Whitney, a 20-year-old Thomas Nelson student from Williamsburg, was among the 15 people who donated blood on Sept. 16. She said it was her third or fourth time donating.
“I try to do it regularly,” she said, adding her first time was as a senior at Bruton High School. “There was a blood drive at my school, and I hadn’t done it before so I figured why not do it?”
Megan Gliebe, 33, earned an art degree from Thomas Nelson in 2007 and now is back at the College working on a degree in teaching. Her father and youngest son are big reasons why she is a regular donor.
“My dad used to donate every time he was able,” she said. “My youngest son had to have platelet transfusions when he was born so it was kind of an important thing. I do it as much as I can when I can remember.”
Even without the personal connection, Gliebe things she would be donating often.
“It’s such an easy thing to give back so I don’t think there’s a reason why not to,” she said. “It takes not very much time, and not very much energy.”
And she doesn’t mind the needle.
“I’ve got tattoos and stuff so the needles don’t bother me. It’s easy,” she said.
Nancy Rilee is a Williamsburg resident who has no ties to Thomas Nelson, but heard about the drive from the Red Cross website. She estimates she has donated about 25 times, and her husband and child also are donors. She gives a simple reason why.
“It’s just the right thing to do,” she said.
The drive at the Hampton campus is scheduled for Sept. 26 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. in Moore Hall. Signing up on the website - www.redcrossblood.org - is recommended but you can sign up on site. The entire process, including filling out paperwork, takes about 30 minutes.