At least 4 500 units of blood donated – that was the goal set by Flow client the South African National Blood Service (SANBS) on 21 March 2018, Human Rights Day.
On an average day, the service aims to collect about 3 000 units of blood. On a public holiday, this is usually around 1 500 units. But taking into account that only about 1% of South Africans donate, it is a daily challenge for the SANBS to maintain sufficient blood supplies.
So, the SANBS’s challenge to Flow was to get 4 500 units on a public holiday. It seemed like madness. But was it? The SANBS desperately needs to increase its donor pool – and there is nothing Flow relishes more than something that seems almost impossible.
The words of Nelson Mandela spring to mind: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
We suggested a campaign built on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call to the nation to make a difference, and asked people to pledge their #NewBlood.
Much preparation was done before the day, with many anxious moments and more than a few sleepless nights. On the day, Flowstars did their red magic all over Gauteng. We covered Vilakazi Street, Soweto, and the Menlyn Park shopping centre in Pretoria. Pictures were taken and interviews held with first-time and regular donors.
The support team back at Flow’s headquarters, keeping their energy up with doughnuts and copious amounts of coffee, posted photographs and responded to questions on Twitter and Facebook, giving information and guiding donors to donor centres and mobile drives.
All this while the clock was gently ticking, with the only thought at the back of our heads, “Will we reach the target?”
Then, the final count – 5 782 units of blood! And more than 50% was from first-time donors.
At the end of a long day, some of the Flow team pirouetted to their cars, while others were doing cartwheels. And a few high fives did not seem out of place. Success, it seems, is the best energiser of all.
Flow managing director Tiffany Turkington says, “This is what makes Flow great – doing work we love, with people we love (in this case the whole of South Africa)! That makes a real difference in the world.”