Gifts from the Heart
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Gifts from the Heart

Grand Circle associates make the semi-annual blood drive a spectacular success

Valentine's Day is all about the heart—and for some organizations, that makes it the perfect time to hold a blood drive. One of those organizations is Grand Circle Corporation. Heading up the semi-annual event for 2013 was Kate Bispham, a traveler support associate.

For Kate, the event was personal. For one thing, she's so afraid of needles, she actually faints. "I figured I'd donate time since I can't donate blood," she laughs. More meaningfully, however, February 14 marks the anniversary of her mother's passing. "It was important to me to distract myself by devoting my thoughts to something positive," she says.

Organizing the drive did just that for Kate. To make sure all 74 available slots for donation were filled, a team captain was named for each of the six floors in the company's Boston headquarters. Associates in departments with little interaction found themselves making new connections as they encouraged their colleagues to sign up to give blood.

In addition, flyers were posted throughout the building, playing off the Valentine's theme with the message of "Give more than your heart, give blood!" And company-wide emails reinforced the message. The response was so enthusiastic, all slots were filled by the end of January, before a planned raffle could even be held.

It was not all smooth sailing from there, however. On February 8, the blizzard Nemo struck the northeast, paralyzing Boston with close to three feet of snow. Even days after the storm, streets around the headquarters building had not been fully cleared, jeopardizing the ability of the bloodmobile to park. "The crew was out there shoveling to make sure the bloodmobile could get through," Kate says. "I want give them a huge thanks."

The Grand Circle blood drive was a rousing success. Sales associates gave up their lunch breaks to give blood and hurry back to the phones. The class of newly hired traveler support associates all offered to donate. There was even a waiting list of associates eager to participate.

In all, 53 donations were successful. As up to three patients' lives can be saved by each donation, a total of 159 people were helped as a result of these generous contributions.

Featured in our January/February 2013 E-Newsletter. Read the full issue here.