By Dayna Kerecman Myers and Jennifer Jeanne Chang
While others are out spreading mischief and mayhem on Halloween, Sean Shadmand and the ShareThis Philanthropy Committee decided to organize a center blood drive at our Palo Alto Center. He donned a Red Skull costume and corralled 11 co-workers together for a fun good deed.
ShareThis launched the Philanthropy Committee to encourage employees to think of interesting ways to give back to the community. Sean, who had never donated blood before, came up with the idea for a Halloween blood drive after hearing a piece about blood on NPR. The program, which focused on the power and magic of blood, got Sean thinking about how blood is often used as a symbol of something fearful on Halloween. Sean wanted to turn that around, and focus on how blood is a positive thing … everyone has it, everyone needs it, and some people in our community depend on the generosity of blood donors.
In fact, SBC currently has a need for all blood types, but especially type O-positive. Yesterday, Stanford Hospital transfused 363 blood products; of those, 167 were O+, and most were given to two patients.
For the ShareThis Philanthropy Committee, sharing comes naturally, and Halloween adds some fun. It’s a very blood center-friendly holiday — starting with the treats. We’re hoping that our donors save their pumpkin seeds after they carve jack-o-lanterns, because pumpkin seeds are a rich source of iron. And then, of course, Halloween gives us an opportunity to tell donors that we “vant” their blood!
If All Hollows’ Eve finds you at home, handing out candy and setting up a scary movie or curling up with some good reading, Pele the Goddess of Fire (aka Jen in Marketing & Communications) has some suggestions for you. Read about The Great New England Vampire Panic to learn what infectious disease people confused with vampire attacks. Or read the New Yorker’s In the Blood: Why do Vampires Still Thrill to find out which deposed dictator suffered a stake through his grave. You’ll also learn about the roots of vampire literature, including the holiday on Lake Geneva spent reading ghost stories that inspired two of the most enduring figures of the modern horror genre.
However you spend it, we hope you enjoy your Halloween. And, if you think your workplace (or club, or family) might be a good candidate for a center drive like Sean’s, we would love to hear from you. Center drives, at either our Menlo Park, Mountain View, or Palo Alto locations, are ideal for groups that aren’t quite big enough for a mobile drive. We can also set up tours and presentations to teach small groups about the donating process. Contact Elisa Manzanares, Account Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 650-444-7016 to arrange a special small group appointment.