by Michelle Frye
The Timbers Army Blood Drive July 27, 2012 in Vancouver was a huge success for Red Cross. We obtained 65 pints of blood which tied the number of pints donated at the April Drive at Jeld-Wen field. These donations will help save numerous lives. Red Cross donor donations are usually crucial in the summertime and this year more so than others as various blood types were at emergency levels which meant they had less than a three day supply. So the Timbers Army rose up again to help the Red Cross in their continuing battle to obtain as much blood supply as they can.
The success of this Drive does not end there. My day started at 9am on Friday picking up donated sandwiches from Subway and brewed ice tea from Starbucks. At 10am the Drive began, as people came through registering, I asked where they heard about the Drive as I was curious. Several came from mass emails sent from Clark County Indoor Soccer from their database. Among those where many Timbers fans and I asked if they knew anything about the 107ists. The majority of them never heard the term before. So my volunteerism at the 107ist table on game days, paid off. I was able to educate several people on what we do for our Communities and to support the Army up in the stands and encouraged several folks to sign up. In fact, one woman wanted to join as she really liked the charity aspect and giving back to the Community but financially she was in a pinch so I offered to pay her first year’s dues if she was really interested. She joined right on the spot and also joined Timbers Army Northern Alliance Charity Chapter (TANACC) Facebook page so she could start volunteering right away. Several others who were already 107ists joined TANACC as well. TANACC is a new Facebook group for those interested in carrying out the mission of the 107ists into Southwest Washington.
We were also successful at reaching the youth. Mass emails went out through all youth soccer clubs in Southwest Washington to those kids who played and were over the age of 16. We had several youth players show up with parental consent forms in hand, ready to donate. So we were able to reach out to those in their early years and hopefully this will be just the beginning for them in giving back to those in need.
Some other little tidbits that made the day so special was one man rode his bike from Portland, two hours each way, and once he arrived at the Blood Drive discovered he forgot his wallet at home which had his I.D. in it which is required by Red Cross to donate. He donated at the first TA drive and really wanted to do this one as well so he was a little disappointed but in good spirits as he made an attempt anyways which was very honorable. Jokingly he said he learned his lesson and will be at the next TA drive with wallet and I.D. in hand. At least he got some good exercise!
Brent Richards also showed up about 5pm or so as he used to work for Clark County Indoor Soccer so he wanted to come by and support the Blood Drive as well as visit with some of his previous co-workers. He was kind enough to do some autographs and take some pictures with folks. We volunteers at the time had some nice one on one time with him to chit chat a bit which was a lot of fun.
We had another couple come out a little later and when asked how they heard about the drive, they said that they saw me on the 5 o’clock news but they didn’t say where the Drive was held so they googled it to find out where we were and came right down. I thought that was so wonderful that they saw a Timbers Army Blood Drive was happening, dropped what they were doing, and immediately came out.
So all in all, this event was a success in many ways, we received 65 pints of blood for the Red Cross which is so desperately needed. We educated people about the 107ists and our mission and hopefully we will see several new sign-ups. We got some 16 and 17 year old kids to fight the fear of a needle for a good cause and hopefully they will continue on and give back to their community by doing charitable acts. I also think we got our first home grown player, Brent Richards, excited to see that the 107ists are doing charity acts in his neighborhood.
I would like to thank Clark County Indoor Soccer for the use of their facility and their helpful staff and it worked quite well with the buses with their large parking lot and the use of their space inside for registration. There was also ample area inside for people to congregate together while waiting their turn to donate, eat some sandwiches/snacks, chat and hang out. I would also like to thank orwaSubway.com who donated six platters of sandwiches for the event. This gentleman owns 18 Subways in Portland and Southwest Washington and is a 107ist as well as many of his employees. He was so glad that I reached out to him as he and his employees do a lot of charity work both in Portland and Washington but never with the 107ists. So he said he would be very interested in partnering with us on future endeavors. Also I would like to thank the Starbucks store located at 1900 NE 162nd Ave., Vancouver for donating gallons and gallons of flavored ice tea for the event as well.
Also, big thanks to all the volunteers who helped plan, organize, spread the word and volunteered at this event! This whole experience was one big blast for me and feel honored to have hosted this one!