A Backblast For A Blood Drive??! YUP!!!

  • When:07/23/2020
  • QIC: Fuse Box


A Backblast For A Blood Drive??! YUP!!!

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.

 

WARM UP

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:

  • Must be at least 20 people
  • They require 1000 sq ft of air conditioned space with access to bathrooms (due to Covid, buses are discouraged)
  • A couple tables and chairs are needed for registration, canteen, and waiting areas.

 

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.

 

THE THANG

The 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.

 

MOLESKIN

There is a lot to say here, and I will attempt to keep the back patting and soap boxing to a minimum.

  • Thank you so much to the guys that came out. 72 pints will save approximately 216 lives in our community. It also means that Van Winkle and Doe Re Me out of F3 Metro are doing 72 Burpees, Squats, and Merkins today.
  • A special thanks to three people who came and stayed all day helping out. Chastain, Mayhem and Posse.
    • Early on Posse was my sounding board for lack of registering frustrations. He is wise beyond his years (which is saying something because he’s old as dirt).  He really helped me to get outside of the Waxhaw bubble and draw more folks in.
    • Chastain jumped on board about halfway through recruiting, but was a big help in pushing us over the finish line.  He was also a huge help for helping things logistically the day of.  Apparently he is a great baby sitter as well (he watched Ice 9’s daughter while he gave blood).
    • Mayhem, despite being a Tar Hell, is a high impact man. He jumped in the day off and started helping right away.  Within two minutes he had built rapport with the Red Cross staff (and even secured a lunch date).  All day he was moving from table to table checking on donors and staff, bringing juice boxes, and keeping spirits up.  Thanks for your help today.  I wish I had the ability to build report that fast with people.
  • Thanks also goes out to our other volunteers. Surge, Das Boot, and Chainsaw all stepped up to volunteer some extra time today.  Thank you!
  • Late in the planning of this thing I thought “There is a lot of people that will be coming to this one location. It would be great to collect things as well while we are gathered.  My first thought was to reach out to Ackbar for his Churches food pantry.  “What do yall need”.  The call comes back that kid friendly food is always in short supply; so the call went out…bring donations when you come to donate blood.  I was worried at first that I was asking too much of the pax all in the same day.  Those fears were quickly calmed thanks to Posse who said we were doing six F (two 3 F’s?).  Thanks to everyone that donated food.  I hesitate to call anyone in particular out here, but two guys brought so much food that I think they need to be recognized.  Rudy brought in what felt like 20 lbs of bags.  And Brutus had so much food in his car that I send him directly to the church to unload.  Huge thank you guys and to everyone that donated food today.
  • Speaking of Ice 9 (from Chastain’s kid sitting story); My mother-in-law (who’s a Nurse Practitioner) warned me that red heads have a higher probability of passing out when giving blood so I needed to eat a big breakfast.  With that in the back of my mind I closely watched Ice 9 this morning to see how it affected him.  Would he pass out?  Would he need help?  Would he let out a weird grunt like when he works out?  The answer is no to all three (disappointingly on the bear grunt).  I’ve decided that perhaps Ice 9 may not be a true red head.  We may need to check with his M to make sure the carpet matches the curtains.  Who dye’s their hair red?
  • Well its my turn to give. Still nervous with what the Mother-in-law has planted in my head.  I finish up (not bad) and go have a seat at the canteen with a juice box and nutter butter and some second F with a few guys that had donated as well (Prohibition and Wolverine).  Finish both snacks and realize in sweating.  Things are getting foggy.  Finch comes over to say hi and I’m trying to keep it together as best I can.  Apparently I’m fooling nobody.  Prohibition asked if I’m ok.  “Yeah I’m good”.  Wolverine quickly answers “No your not”.  My head feels like its 50 pounds and things are getting darker.  I go to lay my head down just for a second then try and lift it and a feeling of “don’t give a $h!ts” hits me.  I could hear people asking me questions and talking, but I didn’t want to answer them – which is really weird.  About that time Ice hits my neck and chest and I can feel a fan on me.    Don’t give $h!ts goes away and I’m back.  Juice box makes me feel a little better.  They finally get me to a bed to lay down and recover some more.  So why am I telling this long story about me (almost) passing out?  Not to scare you from giving blood.  And certainly not to make me look like a weak pansy.  Men are weird.  We fight help with tooth and nail, even when we know we need it.  I knew something was wrong.  Wolverine and Prohibition knew something was wrong.  Yet I kept saying I was ok.  Why?  Why can’t we accept help?  Take this as a lesson.  If your gut tells you to ask and they tell you they are fine….stay with them.  They likely need help and they are pushing it away.  Thanks Prohibition and Wolverine for sticking with me even though I said I was fine.
  • So whats next? Well if you do the math, 72 pints is a long way away from 10,000.  I’m not sure how many F3 Regions there are, but I’m going to guess its somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-150.  So lets assume its 100 for a good round number.  Each region would need to get 100 pints donated for Freed To Bleed to hit their goal.  So that spurs two questions for me:
    • 1) Who from SOB, Area51, and Union County will pick up the torch and run with it for your region? I’ve got the blue print for you to use.  And I made plenty of mistakes and can show you how to avoid them or improve upon them.  If you want to take the next step; If your tired of saying “Someone should do something”; If you have realized that F3 is about developing community leaders and you are ready to step up and do something….Contact me at jjpartin@gmail.com or contact Ashley at  ashley.collier@redcross.org.  (Please don’t sign my email address up for weird fetish mailings).
    • 2) We need another blood drive here in Waxhaw. 72 pints isn’t enough.  We can all give blood again in 57 days.  Who can I pass this torch to here in Waxhaw?  Who wants to step up for round 2.  I can be your Co Site Q or I can help in the background.  But I’d love for someone to step up and run with this thing.  Make it bigger and better than I did.  Connect with me and lets start working on this thing….like today – right now.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Get off your ass and make a difference.  Area51, SOB, Union County….get to work on your first blood drives.  Waxhaw – lets get to work on our second.  Lets go be High Impact Men that fulfills F3’s purpose – to invigorate and develop male community leaders.

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