A huge thank you to everyone that came out
today yesterday to give blood. Another thank you to those that brought kid friendly food items for Ackbar’s church. An even bigger thank you to those that donated your time as well today. What a full day of Third F, but also quite a lot of Second F. 76 donors showed up with a final unofficial total of 72 pints of blood. I say unofficial because those that gave Power Red actually gave more than a pint so the totals will be calculated later today. Lets guesstimate an even 80 pints.
So about 4 weeks ago, I saw something on Slack in passing about F3 wanting to donate 10,000 pints of blood by their 10 year anniversary. Again, it was in passing and didn’t really stick to me. Then while driving to one of the few customer call’s I’ve had since COVID, there was an ad on the radio that the Red Cross was desperate for blood during these pandemic times. Normally I would have said “Somebody needs to do something”. But thanks to Q Source (and F3) I’ve mentally turned that corner that “No, I need to do something”. The wheels started spinning. I reached out to the Red Cross through their general website (the special link and contacts for F3 had not been developed yet). I received a call from a Red Cross rep with the minimum qualifications:
Sounds easy enough. So off I went. I had decided that I wanted to find a location first, then I would lock down a date. After a few swings and misses I contacted my church, Weddington UMC, who graciously let us use their facility.
Lets lock down a date. I would need time to recruit folks to donate….but how long would I need. (Licks finger, holds it in the air to test the wind. Grabs some dirt and sifts it through fingers). How about 3 weeks. After conferring with both the Church and Red Cross, it was settled….July 23rd. I received a link to a donor page that afternoon and we were off and running trying to recruit donors.
Recruiting was by and far the hardest part of this. Early on I had a lofty goal of 100 pints that had to be tamped down by the Red Cross. They didn’t have the staff to support 100 pints (and apologies to those that donated towards the end today, it showed as we were running behind – It also didn’t help that I almost passed out and took up a table for 20 minutes recovering). Three days into recruiting and I didn’t have the 20 pax needed to even make this happen. I quickly went from asking to begging (and it worked!). So now that we have enough to have it, how do I get to 100 (I wasn’t told I was going to be capped at 75 until the end). I reached out to Posse for ideas. He suggested traveling to other regions to spread the word and fold them in to our drive. So I did. Off to Hawks Nest in Area 51 and Rebel Yell in SOB (Both had 5:30 start times – which really sucks when your use to 6:00 and you’re a 25 min drive from both sites). The pax were really welcoming and several were willing to step up. Awesome. Before I knew it, 23 grew to 37, and then 45. But then I hit a road block. Donors quit signing up. The repeated announcements after workouts were starting to sound like Bone Frog. Back to Posse for Possevice (new lexicon?). Posse “You need a co site Q for this, and its not me”. So out went the call (threat) asking for a co site Q for the blood drive. The original call for help got me some volunteers, but not a Co Site Q. Then Chastain reached out “Still needs some help?”. “Yes I do; Congratulations you are now Co Site Q”. I told Chastain in our opening discussion “I’m stuck at 45. I don’t see a path to 100”. We developed a plan to broaden our reach into the neighborhoods of Waxhaw through Neighborhood Facebook posts and the next door app. Donors started pouring in again. 52, 67, 72. We would market late afternoon/evening and I’d check our portal the next morning to find we were full. We were constantly requesting more donor slots from the Red Cross (adding slots means adding staff so they had to get that approved/scheduled which took time. It wasn’t an automatic add). We made a final push inside F3 for pax to individually reach out (not mass market) to draw in our final numbers. Then word came back from the Red Cross….”I think we are close to being full. I will see if I can get you one final group of slots, but we need to cap you at 79”. And there it was, the first time I realized I wasn’t going to get a chance to hit my original goal. I was bummed, but I was quickly reminded by Chastain what an accomplishment 79 was. I then received an email from some higher up red cross folks as well as F3 Metro guys stating how excited they were with our drive and how much of a big deal that large of a drive is. Ok, got my head back right. Lets do this
thing thang about F3, is that when a brother asks for help, people show up. Hard commits. People you can count on. I was amazed at how many people arrived early to help, asked me what they could do, brought tons of food for donations, or just showed up to give blood.
I won’t bore you with the details, but about an hour before the first donation slot, 4-5 guys where there helping to move tables, redirect traffic to the right door, learning the scan in system, and helping the Red Cross unload (when they would let us).
About an hour in, a higher up Red Cross person arrives and starts telling us that F3 Metro made it a competition at their drive and kept track of how long it took to fill the pint bag. Before she could finish, Chastain had a marker in his hand going around collecting times and keeping track on the white board. Loafer with an early 3:27 jumped out to the lead and tamped Bottle Cap’s bragging down quickly. Deadwood arrived and heard competition only to light up with joy. (I swear you could set up a dog turd eating contest and he would try and win it. The guy thrives on competition). In the end, no one could catch Loafer. Congrats on being the one that would bleed out the fastest if you were ever stabbed.
The guys just kept pouring in. Tons of Waxhaw guys, but I was surprised how many Area 51 and SOB guys came too (when hospital names are used to register, its hard to know if they are F3 until day of). We also used this as an opportunity to EH some new folks. 20 pamphlets were printed telling people about F3 (all three F’s) as well as a schedule of all three F’s. I thought I would be taking extra pamphlets home…nope. We ran out with over an hour left in donations.
Final tally was 76 donors showed up. Four were deferred (meaning they wouldn’t take their blood that day for various reasons) for a total of 72 pints (Wow). The final tally will happen in a few days and will only grow as the Power Red that was donated by some actually counts more than a pint. We are likely close to 80 pints.
There is a lot to say here, and I will attempt to keep the back patting and soap boxing to a minimum.
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