OCEAN CITY – While nothing can be taken away from the hundreds of people expected to donate blood at next week’s 13th Annual Beach Blanket Blood Drive, in addition to the hundreds of people who will take time out of their busy schedules to make sure they participate, there are a group of people whose contribution will go largely unnoticed, if all goes well.
The Coastal Association of Realtors has been running the logistical end of the Beach Blanket Blood Drive since its inception and their participation has been critical not only to the continuing success but also to the continued growth of the annual program.
Community Service Committee chair for the Coastal Association of Realtors, Terri Moran, said that the Beach Blanket Blood Drive stands out among the groups many community service activities because of the depth and breadth of the project. Coastal Association of Realtors members staff the entire blood drive in three hour shifts over the course of the two days.
People who donate blood tend to be generous by nature but in order to stay successful the blood drive has to make certain that the process of giving blood is as painless as the act of giving blood. The organizers respect people’s time and the energy it takes and everything they do to make sure the blood drive goes well is aimed at streamlining the experience.
One of the reasons the Coastal Association of Realtors has had so much success in their support roles is that they are people persons.
Moran said that among all of the coveted assignments for the Coastal Association of Realtors volunteers is the canteen because it is the most social aspect of the event. Coastal Association of Realtors volunteers make sure that after the people who’ve given blood are done, they recover fully and well and get a snack before returning home.
But that the Coastal Association of Realtors members are so well disposed to dealing with people is one of their greatest assets in the other operational aspects of the blood drive as well.
They greet people at the door and get them signed in and help explain anything that a potential donor feels needs explaining before sending them in to have their blood drawn. The people who sit at the check-in table also hand out informational material and are the first people who try to make donors feel at ease.
The CAR representatives are also a big part of the actual processing; making sure that as soon as a phlebotomy station becomes available it is filled.
“There are a lot of chairs but there are also a lot of people,” Moran said. “We try and make sure that no one is waiting if there’s a place available.”
Although the Coastal Association of Realtors undertakes service for focused community projects from Habitat for Humanity builds to running the hot chocolate stand at the Ocean City Winterfest of Lights, providing support for the Beach Blanket Blood Drive is among their most anticipated events.
“We get to put our faces out of the public,” Moran said. “We get to better interact with more people.”
The 13th Annual Beach Blanket Blood Drive will be held 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9. To make an appointment to give blood at this drive call 1 888 8-BLOOD-8 or visit www.delmarvablood.org. Walk-ins will be taken as time allows.