At the Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa (FANS) Board meeting in March (held via video conferencing service, Zoom, of course), our organization was searching for something positive that we could do in the community during this time of crisis, especially in the wake of the postponements of our regular spring events. New Board member Matt Barker mentioned the critical shortage of blood caused by the cancellation of so many blood drives normally held at schools, churches and businesses that are now closed. A phone call to the local chapter of the American Red Cross confirmed that the need was great – so great, in fact, that they asked if we might be able hold a blood drive on March 31, just five days later.
Matt sprang into action to find a location for the drive. Valley Hope Church, 115 Rockland Avenue in Swannanoa, quickly stepped up to offer their fellowship hall. A hastily-arranged visit to the church by representatives of the American Red Cross confirmed that the space was perfect for the inaugural Swannanoa Community Blood Drive. An event poster was generated in record time, and, with just a three days remaining before the drive, publicity went out via Friends and Neighbors of Swannanoa and social media sites throughout the Valley.
The response from the community was overwhelming. By the day of the blood drive, every donor slot had been filled. In all, 49 people showed up on March 31 to give the gift of life to their neighbors in need. The drive was carefully organized to maintain social distance and ensure a safe environment for all donors. FANS extends a big thank you to the American Red Cross, Valley Hope Church (perfect name, we think) and all the donors who participated in the blood drive. What an amazing community we live in!