The Kat Pinedo Blood Drive

Most people don’t spend their wedding anniversary hosting a blood drive, but that’s exactly what Katherine “Kat” Pinedo is doing on Friday, August 21. Residents of Carpinteria and surrounding communities are invited to join Kat and her family in helping save lives by giving blood at a blood drive in her honor:

Friday, August 21, 2015
1:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.
Carpinteria Community Church
1111 Vallecito Road, Carpinteria, CA

 You can make an appointment today by visiting redcrossblood.org and using sponsor code KatPinedo, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or using the free Red Cross Blood Donor App.

Katherin-Kat-Pinedo-Blood-DriveAt the age of 2, Kat was diagnosed with Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease that causes the immune system to attack organs. The disease was in remission until her late 20’s when it destroyed her kidneys. Thanks to generous donors, Kat received a kidney transplant along with many pints of livesaving blood, but Kat’s body later rejected her donor kidney. Today, this 31-year-old mother is now on a waiting list for a new kidney and must endure dialysis until a suitable donor is found.

Through all this, Kat is also working to raise awareness for blood donation, not only for transplant patients, but for those fighting cancer, premature babies, trauma victims, and others in need.

The blood drive coincides with her wedding anniversary. It’s a chance for her to set an example for her 6-year-old daughter by advocating for others in need and creating what she hopes will become an annual community event.

“I’ve decided to use this situation to be a voice for those who can’t speak up about the need for blood and platelet donors,” said Pinedo. “This isn’t about just me. I’m not dwelling on the negatives. I know how important this is. I hope everyone who can donate takes the time to help others who need it.”

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Kat’s blood drive comes at a time when the Red Cross often faces a seasonal shortage. Blood and platelet donations historically decline during the summer months for a variety of reasons, including busy summer schedules and vacations, but the need remains constant.

Summer offers more than 100 days to make a difference. Clear your calendar for what’s most important and #ChooseYourDay!

Farewell, AmeriCorps!

Saying goodbye is never easy.

But every July, in a moment that is surely bittersweet, our Red Cross family must say goodbye to our team of AmeriCorps members. It’s bitter, because we will undoubtedly miss their dedication, passion, and lively personalities. Sweet, because we know these 10 young adults are on their way to do great things.

Over the past 11 months, the Central California AmeriCorps NPRC members educated thousands of families at hundreds of preparedness presentations. From teaching kids how to cope during a disaster through the Pillowcase Project, to educating senior citizens on how they can be Be Red Cross Ready, these team members reached countless individuals and taught them lifesaving skills.

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This year’s AmeriCorps also played a vital role in our disaster response. They acted as part of the Disaster Action Team (DAT) to help families facing devastating home fires. This often meant getting up in the middle of the night or putting other plans on hold to bring hope and comfort to a family that had lost everything.

But their disaster response didn’t stop at the county line. Several AmeriCorps members had the chance to go on a national deployment, most recently to assist families that were impacted by flooding and tornadoes in Texas. Many operation leaders reported back to us that our AmeriCorps members showed extreme dedication and compassion, representing Central California well – we couldn’t be more proud!

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Just when we thought their plates were full, this year’s AmeriCorps team took on one of the most ambitious Red Cross projects yet: The Home Fire Campaign. The task: overwhelming. The goal of saving lives: daunting. But AmeriCorps didn’t hesitate and jumped into these neighborhoods, one doorbell at a time.

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And that’s just the highlights! In addition to these major projects, our AmeriCorps members hosted international conferences, supported Service to the Armed Forces events, created strategies to reach under-served communities, and much, much more.

So to Little Alex, Daniel, Liz, Andrew, Alex, Katherine, Korri, Aissa, Veronica, and Clara:

From all of us in your Red Cross family, THANK YOU for the countless hours of dedication. THANK YOU for your inspiration and passion. THANK YOU for the long nights, busy weekends, DAT responses, presentations, resource fairs, Pillowcase Projects, smoke alarms installations, Facebook posts, and ideas so crazy they just might work! THANK YOU for the laughs, the hugs, the tears, and the memories. We wish you well on your next adventure and can’t wait to see the good work we know you’ll continue to do for your communities.

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So without further ado, cue the cheesy music! This one’s for you, AmeriCorps!

(Pro tip: hit play and scroll through the pictures while you ugly cry – you know who you are!)

Thanks for everything, AmeriCorps!

Jessica Piffero
Regional Director of Communications