14:39 PM

Ariz. Wing Exceeds Blood Drive Goal, Sets New Target

The Arizona Wing shattered its goal of collecting 750 blood units during the COVID-19 pandemic and promptly set a new goal – 1,000 units by Thanksgiving – in hosting dual blood drives on one of the nation’s most patriotic days,

“Today, on the 19th anniversary of Sept.11th, I had the distinct pleasure of not only attending the drive in Glendale but also contributing to the number of units donated,” said Colin Williams, regional communications officer for the American Red Cross Arizona-New Mexico Region.

Arizona Wing squadrons began blood drives after COVID-19 restrictions prevented the Red Cross from using the usual sites for collecting blood.

Hosting the Operation Pulse Lift blood drives Sept. 11 were the  388th Composite Squadron in Glendale, with 24 units collected, and the Cochise Composite Squadron in Sierra Vista, with 34 units donated. By day’s end, the total collected units since the mission began stood at 792.

That surpassed the wing’s goal of reaching 750 by Nov. 1.

“Today the Arizona Wing supported its 24th and 25th Operation Pulse Lift blood donation center events in 149 days, leading both the Southwest and nation in blood donation center events and collections and providing lifesaving blood for 2,376 persons across the country as part of the COVID-19 joint Civil Air Patrol/American Red Cross response,” said Lt. Col. Robert L. Ditch, the wing’s incident commander for the mission.

In an email to Ditch, Williams complimented the 388th Composite Squadron’s effort in Glendale, citing the leadership of Capt. Klara Olcott, squadron commander, and the dedication and professionalism of Cadet Airman 1st Class Kaitlyn Tucker. “As you know, Cadet Tucker has worked each of the nine Red Cross blood drives at that squadron,” he said.

“Your entire team at that squadron and across the state of Arizona is outstanding. We are humbled to be your partner and can’t thank the Arizona Wing of the Civil Air Patrol enough.

“See you at the statewide celebration when we hit 1,000!”

That’s the new goal for the Arizona Wing — 1,000 units of blood by Nov. 26, Thanksgiving Day.

“This will be a great way to celebrate a day of giving,” Ditch said. “Give a little of you. It goes a long way to save a lot of others.”