January marked National Blood Donor Month in the United States and in honor of this our Milwaukee, Wisconsin facility hosted a blood drive for the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. Recruitment for the blood drive started in December and organizers went into the event optimistic as a last minute push helped the drive reach its recruitment goal. With additional walk-in donors, the drive successfully saw 53 donors, exceeding the goal by 15%, helping save the lives of 159 individuals. 

The motivation to donate varies from person to person. For some like Human Resources Generalist Kate Stich, it is a personal experience that inspires action. 

“There were two main reasons I decided to give blood. One reason was to help us meet our goal – we were so close! Also this past summer I was in a car accident and thankfully, I didn’t need blood but it reminded me how quickly things can change in our lives. Giving blood was a way to help others who may need it.”

For others like Chris Kaiser, Executive Assistant-Engineering, it is because of the simple reminders and instruction shared in advance that makes helping others that much easier. 

“I have not donated blood for a couple of years because the last couple of times I did try to donate, they had problems finding my vein. So, I thought why bother. But, when I saw the email in December I figured I would give it one more try. I followed the instructions that were given to us, ate a healthy breakfast, and drank lots and lots of water before my appointment. That seemed to do the trick and I was able to donate. I will try to donate again as it does give you a good feeling to know you may have saved a life.”

The convenience and ease of donating while at work is also a factor in the success of the drive.

“Having the blood drive right here in our facility makes it so easy, and the fact that the company supports us taking some time out of our day to do this shows we take our charitable giving strategy seriously and will put our money where our mouth is” said Jeff Schmaling, President, Americas North.

Rich Peters, Program Manager-LCM, shared, “With my busy schedule I have a hard time finding time to go to other blood drives or to the BloodCenter office. Having it here on site makes it an easy way to help our community, you can socialize with co-workers, and there are snacks.” Tim Shepherd, Global Trade & Customs Compliance Mgr - Licensed Customs Broker, echoed this sentiment stating “I would donate more often but I have trouble scheduling times to donate as they usually conflict with work schedules, this makes it easy to do something good for the community.”

A once hesitant donor, Joe DeMott, Designer-Electrical, is now a regular because of how convenient and easy the drive is. “I appreciate having a blood drive here at Joy Global because it is only a minute from my desk, I don’t have to drive way out of my way, and it saves me a lot of time. Now with the Blood Center recently bringing in its apheresis machines, one can make a double red cell donation maximizing the impact of the visit.” 

This was the first blood drive of many to be held throughout the year at our facilities across the globe. The next will be held in Longview, Texas on February 23 and as employees think about their participation donors like Jeff Schmaling share these words of advice, 

“Think about someone you love who might need this type of help someday, maybe tomorrow even, and how grateful you would be to know there is an ample supply of blood available because someone you don’t even know took the time to make a difference.”

Mike Triantafelo, Strategic Sourcing Regional Manager, another long time donor adds, “by donating blood you have a quiet positive impact on people when their need is great.” If that weren’t enough of a reason to give, as Mike also says, “Do it for the snacks!”