As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, blood donor organizations are facing major blood shortages, but one local firm hosted its first company-wide blood drive shortly before Gov. Tom Wolf urged all non-essential businesses in the state to close.
DLP Real Estate Capital of Hanover Township, Northampton County, hosted a drive on that day at its Lehigh Valley headquarters and two other sites — its St. Augustine, Florida headquarters, and its DLP Brite Homes office in Orlando.
“If it was later this week, we would have had to cancel it,” said Jenn LoConte, communications and public relations manager for DLP Real Estate Capital.
The quandary organizations such as The Red Cross face is the need for blood ramping up as blood drives across the nation get cancelled. According to the Red Cross, each blood donation saves up to three lives.
Peter Brown, executive director of The American Red Cross Lehigh Valley-Bucks Chapter, said the Red Cross has canceled more than 1,700 blood drives nationwide.
DLP’s blood drive benefitted The American Red Cross in Pennsylvania and One Blood at the two Florida sites.
At Monday’s local event, which DLP hosted outdoors, 17 donors gave blood and at all three locations, they received 51 blood donations, she said.
“We were anticipating the event and then the coronavirus happened,” LoConte said.
She said the Red Cross incorporated pre-screening methods for all donors, including taking everyone’s temperature and asking general questions as well as coronavirus-related questions.
“They did put safeguards in place,” she said. “Even though the numbers were down from what we had originally hoped for, we’re thankful to be able to help those whose lives can be saved from these blood donations, especially now.”
LoConte said DLP is looking to do more community outreach efforts.