Bloodworks Interview with Lillian Huang
Donating blood saves lives. If you want to get specific, 1 donation can save three lives. That seems like an unproportionate ratio, but it makes sense, considering that an American needs blood every two seconds. Roughly 38,000 people need blood every day (Cedars Sinai Hospital). You hear the statistics, but it’s hard to grasp the scope of what actually happens. It’s hard to realize how a simple transfusion can determine whether a person lives or dies.
That’s where the Bloodworks Project comes in. They recruit blood donors through a partnership with Bloodworks Northwest. They also educate the PNW about the process and benefits of donating blood.
The Bloodworks team
A pre-COVID Bloodworks event educating Pathway on the need for blood
The Bloodworks Project has continued making strides in the past several months. We had the pleasure of interviewing Lillian Huang, leader of the project and long-time intern at Pathway.
Interviewer: Melissa Lin
Interviewee Name: Lillian Huang
Interviewee Role: Bloodworks Project Leader at the Pathway Bellevue Mayoral Internship
What methods did your team use to reach out to potential donors and raise awareness of the benefits of donating blood?
Our team utilizes various methods to reach out to potential donors and raise awareness about the benefits of donating blood. We use outreach platforms such as Nextdoor, Instagram, and LinkedIn. However, we discovered early that personal contact via text and email was the most effective strategy for our team. We have amassed the majority of our donors through this approach.
How successful were these strategies? How many donors did you get?
In two blood drives, we gathered 20 donors. We have also worked with student-led organizations to help them plan their own. Many community members were hesitant to donate amid the pandemic, so we are excited to host drives now that COVID-19 vaccines are readily accessible.
What goals have the Bloodworks team met this year?
Our team was successful in meeting our goals this year. We wanted to hold at least three blood drives, and we are on track, given that we are in the midst of our third drive of the year. Another objective we had was to work with student clubs in high schools in the Seattle area. We fulfilled it by presenting to clubs like Key Club, Beta Club, and Asian American Student Union. We met our goal of being featured on the news as Newcastle Living magazine published an article about our project. In addition, we are developing a piece with the South Seattle Emerald.
How does your team plan to continue growing next year, and what are your plans? How will it be different from this year?
We are currently in the process of adding people to our project. We are eager to onboard more team members to maximize our impact. We are also looking forward to hosting more blood drives and reaching our goal of recruiting 80 donors. We recently decided to host raffles to provide a financial incentive to give blood.
What are you the proudest of in regards to the Bloodworks team?
I am proud of all that we have achieved, especially given the size of our team. We have four team members at the moment, but you would never know it by looking at our accomplishments. I am grateful to have a team that works year-round. The need for blood never stops, and neither do we!
Answers modified for article conciseness
A big thank you to Lillian and her teammates for continuing their advocacy for blood donations during the 2020-21 “covid year.” We are excited to witness all they accomplish in the future!
Written by Neha Dubhashi