The spirit of giving back was in the air on Monday, May 13th as Online Trading Academy hosted its inaugural company blood drive. According to the American Red Cross, who co-hosted the event with OTA, someone needs a unit of blood every two to three seconds nationwide. Since only volunteer donors can fulfill such a need, a blood drive was a perfect opportunity for OTA as a B corporation to make a positive impact on the community while potentially saving lives in the process.
For some, including event organizer and OTA Director of IT Infrastructure Jeremy Gregg, it was about more than giving back-- it was personal. “When my grandpa died a few years ago, 34 recipients of his donated organs attended his memorial service. Thirty-four!”, Jeremy exclaimed, recognizing the importance of life-saving donations. “When you’re donating blood,” he added, “there’s this sense of euphoria because you’re doing something for someone—something better than giving money; you’re giving life.”
Jeremy wasn’t the only OTA team member with a personal story to tell. “I had a couple of major surgeries (knee and hip replacements) and the possibility of needing someone else’s blood if something went wrong was on my mind each time,” recalled donor Isabel Zippel, Senior Human Resources Manager. “There is always a shortage of blood as too many people need blood transfusions and this is how I can help,” said Isabel. “It makes me feel good to be able to help others and to give something that I have an abundance of.”
Operations Supervisor Jenna Perez, who donated “for the first time in a long time,” echoed Isabel's sentiment of sharing in the abundance. “Giving blood takes nothing permanently from me, except a little time, but it could help save someone’s life,” Jenna stated, adding that donating blood makes her feel as though she’s making a positive impact on the life of another person.
In all, 35 employees donated blood, a dramatic increase from the original goal of 19 people. Participants included 3 walk-ins and 5 “Power Reds,” who are donors that can safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation. At the end of the day, OTA employees accounted for a grand total of 40 pints of donated blood. “We had so much support for the B Corp Blood Drive that the Red Cross had to add additional staff to cover all the appointments,” said Jeremy. He expects an even higher turnout for future blood drives as well. “Next time, it won’t be on a Monday,” he declared.
OTA employees far and wide ought to be proud of this accomplishment. And the prospect of the total amount of blood donated being much greater the next time around only adds excitement and anticipation for the second OTA blood drive, which Jeremy is working on as we speak.
“Part of being a B corporation means ‘using business as a force for good,’” Jeremy remarked.