Coordinating a community blood drive isn’t easy. In addition to recruiting blood donors, there are also logistics such as scheduling and location to work out. So why does blood drive coordinator Brian Kiernan do it multiple times each year?
“There’s not a better way to have fun in your community,” he says. “My kids are grown, so they’re not in the schools anymore. A blood drive is a great way to get to know the people in your community. The day of the drive, I stay out there all day talking to people.”
Kiernan, a realtor with Coldwell Banker, first became acquainted with Stanford Blood Center when he saw the Bloodmobile parked outside his Los Gatos office. He decided to get in touch about coordinating a blood drive in Willow Glen.
“As a realtor, I have a lot of visibility in the community,” Kiernan says. “I wanted to show local people that I have a stake in the community and in helping future generations.” Kiernan has been holding twice-yearly community blood drives with Stanford Blood Center since 2011. Over the years, the blood drive has grown significantly, from 12 units in its first go-round to 46 units this May.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Kiernan’s blood drives is its ability to turn out great numbers of O-negative donors. Type O-negative blood is always in high demand, because it’s the universal type, meaning it can be transfused to donors of any blood type. People with type O-negative make up less than seven percent of the population, but over 20 percent of donors at Kiernan’s community blood drives!
The timing of Kiernan’s blood drives also holds some significance. He schedules the first blood drive of the year right before Mother’s Day and the second near Thanksgiving as a start to the holiday season. It’s an important time for Kiernan, who in addition to holding a blood drive works with One Warm Coat and Toys for Tots to collect donations for those in need.
Starting later this year, Kiernan will be helping Stanford Blood Center even more. He’ll be coordinating two Los Gatos blood drives in addition to his Willow Glen staples.
“I asked Brian if he would be able to help us out with two more drives during our most difficult months and he didn’t hesitate to respond with ‘Just tell me when,’” says Monica Doleshel, a Stanford Blood Center account manager. “He’s one of the most dedicated blood drive coordinators I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”
Help Brian save lives by donating blood. Visit bloodcenter.stanford.edu or call 888-723-7831 to make an appointment.