October Spotlight: Rodrigo Lima

Rodrigo Lima, a Champions of Character Ambassador in the Red Cross/NAIA Collegiate Leadership Program, hosted a successful blood drive in August.  

In June, Rodrigo participated in the two-week Red Cross Collegiate Leadership Program. Under the guidance of senior Red Cross leaders and representatives from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, he learned how to organize campus blood drives, recruit donors, and share the importance of donating blood. 

Equipped with this knowledge, Rodrigo began coordinating a blood drive at his university. However, the COVID-19 pandemic posed multiple challenges. Fewer students on campus and the fact that people outside the school were not allowed to donate meant that Rodrigo had to use social media more to promote his event. Donations also had to be by appointment only, further narrowing the potential donor pool. Despite these hurdles, Rodrigo was able to fill 90% of the appointment slots and met his goal for units of blood collected. 

One lesson he learned from this experience was the importance of connecting with his target audience – potential blood donors. “Sharing real stories of people who need these blood donations to live” helps donors realize how much of an impact they can make. Rodrigo also encourages youth to host their own community blood drives to save lives. “You are a hero, and it is in times like this that we need you most.” 

A student at Park University, Rodrigo serves as a Champions of Character Ambassador and is currently planning his next blood drive. 

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