The Right Type to Save a Life: Building Blood Donation Awareness
The Miss America Social Impact Initiative of
Miss Hastings 2020 Sophie Keeler
The Miss America Organization (MAO) requires each of its candidates and titleholders to advocate a cause she is inspired to promote. While this prerequisite may surprise some, it’s a primary draw for those who serve their community with the MAO. Why? Our organization, including the Miss Hastings Scholarship Program (MHSP), gives young women a platform to put their education to work and help others.
Called a Social Impact Initiative (SII), each young woman chooses a passion she wants to support and how she’ll bring it to life. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is the national social impact initiative for the Miss America Organization. Sophie Keeler, Miss Hastings 2020, promotes the facts, benefits, and satisfaction of donating blood. She started giving blood and volunteering with the American Red Cross as a high student, then became a community outreach ambassador for them.
"In the time it takes you to read this sentence, a Minnesota patient will require blood for critical medical treatment."
-Sophie Keeler paraphrasing an Amercian Red Cross statistic
Sophie's work with the Red Cross supports its mission by attending community events and activities to promote services, recruit volunteers, and to provide educational information to attendees. The role dovetails perfectly with her year of service as Miss Hastings and has the potential to grow should she win the state title.
"We can't manufacture blood, so donations are essential to save the lives of those who need it during their medical care," Sophie explains. "Due to a lack of donors, our nation's blood supply is critically low, and hundreds of lives are at risk." The need is even more urgent now with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sophie points out how blood banks depend on our nation's seniors to keep up with the demands put on blood supplies. Moreover, this same generation considers it a civic duty to donate! Sadly, they are some of our most vulnerable citizens to COVID-19 and are less available to help than before. So what can we do?
Sophie wants to activate the healthy youth of our nation to pick up the torch our elders have carried for us. If not now, when? It's part of her motive to support blood donation! She believes knowing some facts about current safe practices at American Red Cross collection locations will encourage more people from all eligible generations to give. Here are just a few of the steps they've put into place:
Collection staff uses enhanced procedures to disinfect surfaces and equipment.
They provide hand sanitizer for use before entering and throughout the donation appointment.
Each team goes through a temperature check and symptom check before working with donors.
Each team performs a temperature check with presenting donors before allowing them to enter the blood drive or donation center.
Social distancing practices between donors, including donor beds, as well as waiting and refreshment areas, are observed at donation sites.
Every blood donation team member wears a face mask.
Walk-in donors are not accepted! Find a blood drive and make an appointment on the ARC website here.
All donors must pre-screen online using the American Red Cross RapidPass system. It's simple and takes 10-15 minutes.
For more details about enhanced donation procedures, COVID-19, or to make a blood donation appointment, please click here.
You'll find a list with contact information for the four Twin Cities American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers here. We hope you'll join Sophie and click here to donate! When you do, please download the American Red Cross blood donor app and share your pictures. Go here to learn more and download it now!
To book Miss Hastings for a service opportunity, a speaking engagement, or an appearance, please contact us here. Follow her year of service and SII activities on Facebook as @MissHastings2020, Instagram as @MissHastings.2020, and on her blog!
You can learn about becoming a #MissHastings2022 candidate here.
On behalf of Miss Hastings 2020 and the Miss Hastings Scholarship Program, thank you for your interest and support in Sophie's Social Impact Initiative and year of service!