Welcome to Bloodworks First Person, a series profiling Bloodworks Northwest employees, volunteers and donors by asking them a few questions about their insights and inspirations.
In honor of National Volunteer Week, today’s First Person comes from Chuck Colby, a legendary Bloodworks volunteer, financial supporter and blood donor who recently reached his 900th donation milestone! Keep reading to learn why Chuck happily volunteers on weekends, nights and holidays and the most memorable blood drives he supported.
Name: Chuck Colby
Bloodworks Volunteer Since: 2006
I give time because… By volunteering at Bloodworks, I am in contact with wonderful people, both donors and our fantastic phlebotomists, and my impressions of mankind do a 180 degree turn to the positive!
You’ll find me volunteering…Virtually every chance I get, when I am not working my 40+ hour per week insurance job. I have a regular shift Saturday mornings at the Bellevue Donor Center, but fill in nights and some holidays at Central, Tukwila, North Seattle and Lynnwood. I also do blood drives and just had a ball working with Bloodworks rep Cecily at the Sukura-Con convention.
My role includes… Donor Monitor, though I like to think of myself more as a Bloodworks Cheerleader and Good Will Ambassador. I am pretty good at holding the free hand of first time donors who are nervous, and making them feel relaxed. I also recruit like crazy all over, including at Mariners games when I am wearing a Bloodworks t-shirt. Explaining platelets and plasma to whole blood donors to have them try apheresis, is one of my favorite things to do.
My favorite memory as a volunteer is… I could list hundreds, but thoroughly enjoyed being the donor monitor for the blood drives in honor of Scout in 2015 and Sweet Jane in 2017, two very young warriors that needed many blood transfusions and who inspired me so much, with their courage and the amazing support of their families.
One of the perks of the job is… Besides meeting hundreds of unbelievable donors, many who have become dear friends, the phlebotomists I just adore, and are like a second family to me.
I’d tell someone thinking about becoming a Bloodworks volunteer… Come aboard as you will meet the most inspiring people imaginable, while helping to save the lives of thousands of people. Can’t top that in my book!