60 Donors Unite to Save Lives at Passavant Community Blood Drive

Passavant Community recently held a successful blood drive organized by Carol Flinn, Volunteer Administrative Assistant to Social Services at Passavant Community, in coordination with Vitalant. This event marked the first blood drive at Passavant in a decade, attracting 60 donors, including community members, family members, residents, staff, and volunteers.


Among the 60 donors were 11 residents, 27 staff members, and two volunteers from Passavant who gave blood, showcasing the community’s commitment to supporting local healthcare needs. Flinn herself donated, something she has been doing since after college.


“I’ve been a donor since 1981 and have donated over 50 times,” said Flinn. “When I first started giving blood out of college, you could donate every 56 days. Every eight weeks on the button, I gave.”


Flinn explained how Pittsburgh hospitals need about 600 units of blood per day and “donors are crucial in meeting this demand.”


“One donation can yield up to 460ml of blood at a minimum, with up to 500ml possible,” explained Amanda, a Vitalant healthcare worker who assisted at the drive. “It depends on a person’s age, weight, and height how much they can donate. Everyone is different.”

One of those donors was Passavant resident Sandy Johankmecht, who shared her reasons for donating.

“Because there is a need, and I can do it,” said Johankmecht. “There are some things I can’t do anymore, but this is one I am proud to say I can and will do. “It’s an easy thing to do just to help somebody.”


Brian Damaska, ASPIRE Wellness Manager at Passavant, echoed this sentiment as he gave blood.


“I donated to help Carol’s great cause and because it’s a wonderful way to give back to our community and potentially save a life,” said Damaska.


There are many reasons why people give blood, and it’s natural for some to have hesitations. Flinn admits, “I don’t like needles; who likes needles? But to me, that outweighs the greater cause. It’s a momentary discomfort.”


This blood drive saw 12 first-time donors step forward, and Flinn could not be more thankful to these individuals who stepped up.


“I am so proud of our 12 first-time blood donors,” explained Flinn in an email to all donors. “Your courage to participate and donate is truly appreciated.” Flinn further expressed her gratitude, saying, “I can’t thank you enough for your participation and support of our Vitalant Blood drive Friday….Thank you ever so much for stepping forward to help save lives!”


Looking ahead, Flinn hopes to make the blood drive a biannual event. “We hope to have two drives a year, in the spring and fall,” she said.

Flinn remains motivated by the broader impact of her contributions and understands that while having never personally been affected for needing blood, someone out there will need it.

 “I stepped up because it needed to be done. It’s for the good of the community.”