Broker, owner, and CEO of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty Deb Tebbs, has been invited to join the board of directors for the local American Red Cross organization. She was inspired in part to take action and support the Red Cross by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which, according to the Executive Director of the Central & Eastern Oregon Chapter of the Red Cross, Nadine McCrindle, caused one of the largest blood shortages in American history.
McCrindle explained that about 40% of the nation’s blood for any medical procedure comes from the Red Cross. But with a virus causing concern and fear, many people who usually donate blood have decided not to.
Social distancing is an important and easy way to slow or stop the spread of the virus, but the Red Cross has found ways to gather blood donations while still following the safety recommendations given to us by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC. According to McCrindle, the Red Cross is gathering as much blood as they possibly can while maintaining proper safety regulations.
This is the negative effect of COVID-19 on blood donations. Even though the Red Cross is operating at a near maximum capacity, social distancing protocols have minimized what maximum means. To keep up with the CDC guidelines, blood drives have decreased in overall size and capacity. This means that they are collecting as much blood as logistically possible, but McCrindle still says that might not be enough.
She explained that blood has a shelf life of 42 days. After this time, the blood is not usable. You can only donate blood every 56 days, meaning that even in ideal conditions, there is still a 14 day period in which you might be low on usable blood from donations due to the difference in its shelf life and how often you can donate. The Red Cross is constantly fighting to get ahead of this 2 week gap to ensure that people get life saving transfusions when they need them. During times of blood shortages, like right now in this pandemic, that gap increases in size and it becomes more and more difficult to keep up with the need for blood.
This overall blood shortage is what Tebbs became most concerned about. Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty has a long history of giving back to their community. Chief Marketing & Business Strategy Officer at CSIR, Gary Nolan, spoke about the company’s commitment to giving back.
“Deb Tebbs has fostered a true kind, caring and give back culture here.” said Nolan, who also has recently signed up to volunteer and is leading the company’s blood drive for the Red Cross. “In addition to our company sponsorships, many of our brokers contribute percentages of their earned commissions, as well as, volunteer for dozens of non-profits in the communities that we serve across Oregon and SW Washington. The Red Cross is full of wonderful volunteers, who are always there for you in time of need. We want to be right there with these heroes, helping out and supporting them anyway we can.”
This statement is echoed by McCrindle, who expressed how simple and easy it is to help out with the Red Cross.
“Donating blood is the safest way to help a stranger right now,” McCrindle said. “Your donation takes less than an hour, but can literally save another person’s life.”
The Red Cross now tests any blood you donate for COVID-19 antibodies, according to McCrindle. This test was recently added to the usual rounds of testing that all blood donations go through. This not only helps keep everyone safe, but it will also give valuable information back to the donor.
This is just one of the ways the Red Cross has adjusted in the current pandemic. Something that they are promoting now are virtual blood donations, which are basically blood donations that are dedicated to a certain goal and tracked virtually. For example, an organization can hold a virtual blood drive with the Red Cross and encourage their employees to donate if they can. Each donation would be tracked and you would be able to tell how much blood your organization had donated all together, thanks to the virtual tracking provided by the American Red Cross.
These provisions and more, like the Red Cross mobile app called Blood Donor, are being considered by Tebbs as ways that she and all of brokers can give back to the community. The idea of giving back is one that has driven Tebbs in much of her career.
“During COVID-19, like many of us, I did a lot of self-reflecting about how I wanted to help people in need. I decided to dedicate my time volunteering for the American Red Cross,” Tebbs said. “I also look forward to engaging our network of 325 real estate brokers so that we can all make a significant difference.”
To schedule a blood donation: