The Red Cross just raised their game to a whole ‘nother level. Recently I’ve been thinking that the organization is a For Profit company masking itself as a non-profit. After all, they hire professional nurses and have a very well organized telemarketing thing going in order to get me coming back in to donate blood on a consistent basis. It’s clear that the hospitals are paying them money to for the blood that they get from the organization and they’re probably paying BIG too.
My guess is that the pint of blood that I donate for free sells to a hospital for $250 to $500 when all is said an done. Probably closer to the $500 mark. Maybe more. It would have to in order to keep the buildings open, the nurses employed, paying for all that tubing that they use to get the blood OUT of me, all the testing that goes on in the background to ensure my blood isn’t tainted with AIDS, and all the rest. It’s expensive and I’ve gotta believe that people are NOT throwing truckloads of cash at the Red Cross.
Susan G. Coleman has the race for the cure to raise money all over the place…but where do you hear about the Red Cross doing consistent organized fund raising? Where’s their version of the Walk for the Cure? Me thinks that it doesn’t exist because they don’t NEED it. They have a constant flow of people coming in to donate at centers all over the nation and they convert those pint-sized bags of blood into cash on demand.
They’re always call up saying that there’s a severe shortage of blood. How can that be? They have the most organized and consistent follow up program in the world? Count out 7 weeks from my last donation and they call again to set up that next appointment. I’m busy so I send those calls to voicemail all the time. No problem. They call back. Different days. Different times of the day so they can catch me when I’m more available. If I cancel an appointment, give it a week and they’re calling again to reschedule. If they’re doing this with MILLIONS of people, then I gotta believe that there is no shortage of blood. The only way that can be true is if by “shortage” they mean that there’s not enough bags of blood in the Red Cross refrigerators – because they sold it all and need to get some more if they want to be able to get some more cash anytime soon.
Anyway, that’s the long way of saying that while I try to be consistent about donating blood, I feel a little bit weird about it. Like I said before, it feels like the Red Cross is a bit of a for profit company that is masquerading as a non-profit. I don’t even want to Google up how much their CEO gets paid each year for fear I’ll never commit to donating again.
But check out what they just sent me in my email today!
You see that? This was the SMARTEST thing that they could ever do. I have always wondered where my blood goes once I donate it. As they have 40 different bar codes on all the various elements of the donation “stuff” in order to track it through the screening process and such, it’s clear that they could look it up and tell me where the blood went.
But now they’re doing it!
This was pure genius! With millions of donors on their email list, telling them where the blood actually went goes a long way toward giving the donors a reinforced vision that their consistent pattern of donating really DOES go to help real people in need. After reading an article about America’s Worst Charities I was a bit freaked about going to the Red Cross. What if they were just a giant money pit too?
This short email shored up my doubts. I’ve always wondered where my own blood was going and it appears that the Red Cross was able to see my thoughts because they pushed that very real hot button.
Even if the Red Cross really IS getting paid truckloads of money for every pint of my blood that they sell to a hospital, ultimately that blood is going into the veins of a real person who really does need it. I think I might just use their handy little app to lock in my next donation appointment.