Julia Goerlich has been volunteering as a blood donor ambassador with the Red Cross Quad Cities/West Central Illinois Chapter for the past 12 years. Julia worked in the medical field, so volunteering as a blood donor ambassador was a natural transition for her. She helps to make the blood donor experience a positive one by greeting people at the door, takes their temperature, and makes them feel welcome. Julia treasures the personal stories she hears from donors and it motivates her to keep going.
“It’s amazing to hear why people are donating”, Julia says.
In addition to volunteering, Julia also serves on the Biomedical Outreach Committee, where she helps spread the word about blood drives in the community. Her first experience organizing a blood drive was at her church Blessed Sacrament in Quincy.
Julia says she was nervous in the beginning speaking to her church, but eventually became more comfortable.
“[Promoting blood drives] individually is one thing, but when you’re talking to 100 to 200 people, it’s a whole different story”, Julia says.
Julia shared with her church how blood and platelet donations impacted her life personally, after it helped her mother and siblings battle illnesses. This experience made Julia want to give back to others who may need the gift of life. She teamed up with members of her church to host a blood drive. In their first year, more than 40 people donated blood.
Julia continues to encourage others to volunteer and get the full experience of what it’s like as a blood donor ambassador.
“I love getting people excited about it,” Julia says, “I tell them all about what I do, what I see, and what I hear before they come out.”
Written by Communications & Marketing Intern, Matthew Pontious