American Red Cross account manager Meredith Gallinaro recently spoke at a Victor-Farmington Rotary Club meeting.
Red Cross’ mission statement is to provide a safe blood supply for the American people.
Gallinaro, of Gananda, coordinates Red Cross blood drives in eastern Monroe County and Ontario County, an area that includes Webster through Naples. She graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2006 and previously worked at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, as a wedding planner.
She said her previous experience in planning weddings and organizing activities helped develop the administrative skills that are helpful in her new career. She has worked for the Red Cross for a year, and her main duties involve arranging blood drives. She works with local businesses, churches, service clubs, community groups and interested citizens who volunteer to join Red Cross’ effort to provide a healthy and adequate blood supply for the public.
On any given day, there are likely to be several blood drive locations in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes area.
The Red Cross initially became involved with addressing the need for an adequate blood supply in 1948. Today, its efforts account for approximately 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.
Gallinaro said the average person has 10 to 12 pints of blood in their body. When blood is collected from donors, it is rarely transferred intact, but separated into its three components: red cells, which contain hemoglobin and have a shelf life of 42 days; platelets, which help blood clot and have a shelf life of five days; and plasma, the liquid portion of blood that contains platelets, red cells and proteins and has a shelf life of up to one year, if frozen.
There are four blood types: A, B, AB and O. A person’s blood type is determined by their biological parents.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. The Red Cross collects 14,000 blood donations every day, on average.
Gallinaro discussed Red Cross’ initiatives, such as the Home Fire Campaign. This initiative seeks to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent by 2019. She also discussed health and safety courses offered locally by the Red Cross.
In club business, Victor-Farmington Rotary Club welcomed its newest member, Jim Johnson, branch manager of Generations Bank in Farmington. Johnson, of Canandaigua, serves as vice president of Farmington Chamber of Commerce and is a former member of Canandaigua Rotary Club. Club President Jim Crane and membership chairman John Rugg formally inducted Johnson into the club.