Volunteer Spotlight: Doug Harrison

Doug Harrison of Peoria has volunteered for the American Red Cross as a Blood Transportation Specialist for the past 15 years.

As a Transportation Specialist volunteer, Doug is the critical link between blood donors and blood recipients by delivering blood, platelets or other blood products to hospitals.

“This is a lifesaving job,” he says.

Formerly a printing press operator, Doug decided to start volunteering when his full-time job was eliminated. On average, he is called to deliver blood products two or three times a week – it’s a call he is always happy to take.

Doug also volunteers at blood drives and says, he just likes being able to do something for other people.

“I enjoy it. I’m giving back to the community; that there, in itself, makes me feel good.”
-Doug Harrison

Thank you, Doug! Visit redcross.org/volunteer to sign up as a Red Cross volunteer.

Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager Brian Williamsen

September Nott: Hall of Fame Platelet Donor

“It’s really important to give if you can do it. I don’t have a lot of money to give, so I just give myself.”
-September Nott

September Nott started giving blood in 2012, shortly after going with her son to his blood donation appointment. September was notified that she has a high platelet count in the days following her initial blood donation and she has been donating platelets, ever since.

Ten years later, September has made 187 donations, for a total of 490 units. She comes in every two weeks, and says she just enjoys being able to give back.

“There are so many people who need blood and platelets and plasma. It’s a part of my life that I can give selflessly to. It’s easy to do, and I love it,” she says.

September lost both of her parents and a close friend to cancer. She says, she likes to donate platelets in honor of people she knows who are battling cancer. Often times, September will bring a photo of those individuals with her to the donation center, as she makes her donation.

Beyond her gift of life, September found a unique way to help protect and connect the platelet donor community during the pandemic — donating roughly 1,800 hand-sewn masks to platelet donors and platelet collection staff members.

On Monday, Dec. 12, 2022 in Peoria, September was inducted into the Fresenius-Kabi Donation Hall of Fame for her efforts.

Congratulations, September and thank you for your contributions! Every 15 seconds a patient in the U.S. receives platelets, and nearly 50% of all donated platelets go to cancer patients. Click here to make an appointment to donate platelets.

Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager Brian Williamsen

Red Cross and Partners Team Up to Sound the Alarm in Peoria

American Red Cross volunteers and community partners gathered in Peoria Thursday, May 5 to install free smoke alarms in dozens of homes and share home fire safety information with residents.

The event kicked off the 2022 Sound the Alarm campaign in the Illinois region. Volunteers will be installing smoke alarms in numerous communities in the region in coming weeks – 50,000 in total, throughout the U.S.

Volunteers gathered at the Red Cross chapter office in Peoria, where Peoria Fire Department officials instructed them on how to properly install the smoke alarms. Teams of two or three went out into the community from there, to educate homeowners on fire escape plans and complete the installations. Volunteers installed 74 smoke alarms in homes of Peoria residents.

“It is important that we partner with other community leaders to promote fire safety,” said Jesse Getz, CEO of Getz Fire Equipment. “It was very rewarding. Any time you can volunteer to help others in your community, it’s just a great experience.”

Click here to see more photos of the Peoria event.

Thank you to the following community partners for helping make this possible:

Ameren
ATS
Caterpillar
Commerce Bank
Getz Fire Equipment
Maxim Healthcare Services
Peoria Fire Department
Salvation Army

The Sound the Alarm program is part of the Red Cross home fire campaign, which has helped saved 1,275 lives since launching in October 2014.

Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager Brian Williamsen

Celebrating Black History Month: Employee Spotlight on Tia Jackson

Tia Jackson is a business operations specialist and started working for us as an executive assistant in 2016. In her current role, she manages operations at American Red Cross facilities in Peoria, Bloomington, Springfield and Decatur and she is responsible for making sure facility needs are met.

“I like being able to help the Red Cross and people who are working in the buildings and it makes me feel good when someone tells me a facility is clean and in good condition,” she said.

Part of Tia’s role is recruiting, training and working with volunteers. She is quick to compliment them for being great partners in what she does on a daily basis.

“Volunteers are very helpful to me, because they can be my eyes and ears in the buildings when things need to be fixed. It’s satisfying when volunteers feel they can come to me and talk about any issues they’re having and talk about their accomplishments. It’s great when the team and I can get together and work through things and talk about fun things, too,” she said.

Five years after starting here, Tia says she enjoys her role and is looking forward to what the future holds.

“Business Operations is a great team and it’s amazing working for the Red Cross,” she said.

Tia lives in the Peoria area with her family and loves to travel. Her favorite travel memory is from a trip to Mexico, when her husband proposed to her.

You might find Tia wearing green and gold, because she is an avid Green Bay Packers fan – a team she roots for in honor of her uncle, who was a lifelong fan.

Thank you, Tia for all you do!

Written by Illinois Region Communications Manager Brian Williamsen