Live Music and Prizes at Blood Drive to Encourage Donations Live Music at Blood Drives to Boost Donations

Maddie Mustion: The 16th annual Lifesaver’s Blood Drive mimicked a concert in the halls of Driver’s Village. Pianist Dick Ford donated his time to play for an hour. Ford believes his contribution improves donors’ moods.

Dick Ford: “Music sort of lifts souls, if you will. It’s not about your brain, it’s about some emotional soul connection!”

Maddie Mustion: The live music played the entire drive from various musicians. Workers felt the environment was different than a normal drive. Donor McKenzie Kramer says this helped her relax.

McKenzie Kramer: “It was good. I liked it a lot. it was very soothing!”

Maddie Mustion: The nationwide blood shortage has caused drive organizers to adapt. Assemblyman Al Stirpe says they will continue the music and urges locals to donate at upcoming drives. In North Syracuse, Maddie Mustion, N-C-C News.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — The 16th annual Lifesaver’s Blood Drive provided fun and relaxation to combat the nationwide blood shortage. The drive, organized by Assemblyman Al Stirpe and the American Red Cross, provided live music and incentives to draw people in the door.

Live music played from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and blew the environment of a normal blood drive out of the water. The first musician to play at the event was pianist Dick Ford. Ford took requests and even sang along to the tunes with donors who were waiting for their appointment.

The atmosphere keeps donors coming back to this event. As a three time donor, McKenzie Kramer was not nervous, but said that she felt the atmosphere and kind staff made the appointment go by quicker.

Donation beds and prizes set up inside Driver's Village
The American Red Cross set up donation beds in the back of the hall.
© 2022 Madeline Mustion

“I liked [the music] a lot. it was very soothing,” Kramer said.

The national blood shortage impacted the importance of this drive and forced the organizers to rethink how they sway donors to sign up.

After donating blood, donors were ushered to a large U-shaped table that held snacks, juice and almost 200 prizes. These incentives were donated by local merchants and companies that have been collected over the past 3-4 months.

These included gift cards ranging from $10-$100, a clock donated from Stickley, and an iPad Pro.

“I think [the incentive] helps, especially younger people, it gives them a reason. We always have ya know, an iPhone, an iPad, something like that they’d really like,” Stirpe said.

The American Red Cross and other organizers are hosting drives with similar incentives to combat the blood shortage. Stirpe urges anyone who can, to donate and help lessen the burden of this shortage.

To find a drive nearby visit the American Red Cross website for more information.

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