Greenman receives Blood Drive Coordinator of the Year Award

Fri, 04/30/2021 - 11:00am

Whenever the Rhode Island Blood Center holds a community-sponsored blood drive, they would love to be able to say, “If you build it, they will come.” But the truth is, behind every successful blood drive is a great volunteer coordinator. Peter Greenman, a long-time resident of Block Island, is everything one could ask for in a coordinator and more, which is why RIBC has named him the 2020 Blood Drive Coordinator of the Year.
Greenman has been coordinating the Block Island community blood drives for 27 years. To date, he has helped bring in close to 3,500 donations. Since one donation can help save three lives, the Block Island drives have helped more than 10,000 people. The first blood drive on the island started in 1992, and in 2021, they will be hosting six blood drives a year, averaging between 25 and 35 donations at each drive.
Running blood drives on the island is no small feat, with much coordination that happens in advance of the RIBC team bringing all necessary equipment and staff over via ferry and sending some of the blood back via airplane to be driven from the Westerly Airport to the center’s laboratory headquarters in Providence mid-drive. Because holding drives on the island is logistically challenging, it is all the more important to be sure all of the appointments are booked the day of the drive.
Rennie Simmons, Account Manager for RIBC, says, “Peter always takes care of whatever needs to be done to successfully promote the blood drive, most importantly educating the community about the importance for blood donations and personally asking them to give.” Peter also writes inspiring letters that appear in The Block Island Times before and after each drive to engage the community in donating and let them know the results. He’s always an accessible and open point person for residents and the blood center. Peter greets the staff at the ferry then heads over to the blood drive site at either the Harbor Church or the Block Island School to be sure everything is set up to run a successful blood drive.
Peter was honored at a ceremony at the Block Island blood drive on March 4. He says, “Volunteering is part of my DNA. Sandy and I moved to Block Island in 1994, but I had been volunteering long before that. I think one of my principles in life is to somehow make a difference. So, shortly after moving here, I learned of a need and I haven’t stopped. It’s hard to believe that Sandy, my ever-supporting wife, and I have been married 65 years.” Thank you, Peter, for your commitment to saving lives!