Earlier this week, Visit Milwaukee partnered with the Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin on behalf of Aurora Health Care to host the Hospitality Heroes Blood Drives. The three blood drives that were held this week were by appointment only donations, each with around 40 donors in attendance. Through the donations of these generous individuals, the Hospitality Heroes Blood Drives will impact more than 300 lives.
“Something that made this blood drive unique was that nearly half of the donors were first-timers and nearly all were under the age of 45, something we don’t normally see at a community drive,” said Rheanna Pieroni, the Milwaukee Area Account Representative of the Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin. “Many of our regular, dedicated donors are seniors, who for a variety of reasons, unfortunately, become unable to donate, so it’s crucial that Versiti is consistently engaging new donors who can step in and step up and ensure a stable community blood supply for the future.”
Versiti is tentatively planning additional blood drives in the coming summer months when blood donation demand will be higher.
“Thanks to community generosity, we now have adequate donations for April,” said Pieroni. “We are grateful to our Hospitality Heroes across Milwaukee, who even in the face of the biggest challenge their industry has ever faced, is stepping up to ensure a safe and adequate blood supply when hospitals anticipate more surgeries and patient need.”
This week’s blood drives were hosted at The Cooperage, Adventure Rock Milwaukee and Saz’s South Second who were generous enough to open their doors for the blood drives, despite their businesses also being impacted by the pandemic — hence the name Hospitality Heroes.
“Blood donation is always important and it’s not always in the forefront of people’s minds,” said Pieroni, “but it’s always important because it’s an irreplaceable resource that people and patients need every day. In the coming summer months, it’s going to be even more important because hopefully as a city and state, we’ll be able to get back to normal a little bit and that’s when we’re forecasting our hospitals will need our support the most.”
For businesses that are interested in hosting a blood drive in the coming months, Pieroni encourages them to reach out to her. “We would love to partner with any other spaces willing to participate.”
Pieroni can be reached by email at email@example.com and by phone at (262)-909-2952.