Donating blood has always been something that Julianna Lubeck’s family takes part in.
“My grandmother (Nardinia Tomlinson) passed away right before I was born and she needed blood when she was sick, and the blood was there for her. My family donates in her memory so that the blood will be there when someone else’s grandmother or loved one needs it,” said the 17-year-old from Linwood.
The rising junior at Mainland Regional High School recently went with her mother, Toni, to donate at a blood drive in Somers Point.
“It was easy to donate and I felt good about it when it was done. Really, it is something just about everybody can do to help someone. You don’t need to know the person, just that you have the opportunity to do something that could make a big difference in someone’s life.”
Julianna is a member of the Shore Medical Center Medical Explorers and because she has an interest in a career in the health care field she started to talk with Laurie Saint Clair at the Red Cross about their need to increase blood donations.
The Red Cross is always looking to increase donations, and a shortage has become even more evident since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year.
With the help of the Saint Clair and the Red Cross, Lubeck signed up for the Leaders Save Lives program and organized a blood drive.
She had to find a suitable location to, find volunteers to help, publicize the drive and organize a recruitment team. Between family and friends, she checked off all the boxes.
Signs encouraging potential donors to schedule an appointment for the July 29 Red Cross Blood Drive are in many store fronts and restaurants, as well as text messages and emails.
She even called on some community partners to donate to the cause and Chester’s Pastry Pantry in Somers Point along with Wawa in Northfield offered to have something for the donors to eat and drink when they finish donating.
“I like to think my grandmother would be proud that we are paying it forward and helping others just as others helped her when she was sick,” Julianna said.
The Leaders Save Lives Blood Drive is being held from 2-7 p.m. July 29 at Beth Israel Synagogue, 2501 Shore Road in Northfield. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS or register online at RedCrossBlood.org and search by sponsor code: LSL Northfield.
All donors will receive a $10 Amazon gift card in the mail compliments of the Red Cross and be registered for a chance to win free gas for a year.