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I was a phlebotomist for mobile blood drives for the Red Cross for over 4 years. I absolutely loved traveling around the region every single day and helping save lives. I put my heart and soul into doing exactly that, and I had a fantastic relationship with donors and volunteers all over the region.  

On February 3, 2017, I was on my way back from a mobile blood drive, and I saw two little boys walking alone well after dark in a very dangerous neighborhood. The first thing I thought of when I saw them was my little nieces, nephews, and godsons. I thought, "Oh my gosh, I can't imagine one of them being in the situation."

So I pulled over, told them they looked way too young to be out walking alone after dark, and asked them if they were okay. They told me they were 7 and 9. I said, "That's pretty young to be out here alone. Can I give you a ride home?" They looked at each other kind of hesitantly at first, and I said, "It's okay, I work for the Red Cross. You can see it on the side of the vehicle, you're safe." They got in the back seat, buckled their seat belts, I drove them four blocks in the same direction I was already going, and dropped them off safely at their front door.

Five days later, I was terminated. I was told it was because I did not have permission from a supervisor to have them in the vehicle, and that it could have been an insurance liability for the Red Cross. Our volunteers take our vehicles and go pick up donors all the time, so clearly insurance liability is not an issue in either case. All of my co-workers and my direct supervisor were completely baffled. My supervisor just sat there speechless with tears in her eyes as the human resources rep laid it out.

If you read the Red Cross Mission and Values statement, what I did was well within the scope of what the Red Cross says they stand for. We are supposed to be here to help people. We are supposed to reach out to those in need, and help the human spirit flourish. I honestly thought I was doing what any decent human being would do for two little kids who were walking alone after dark in a neighborhood where shootings and stabbings are a frequent occurrence.

I am an AFSCME Union member. The Red Cross refused to allow me to have union representation when I was first approached about the situation three days later. They refused to allow me union representation at my termination meeting. They have refused to discuss the matter with my union representative and myself. And they are refusing to take the matter to an impartial arbitrator. All of these requirements are clearly stated in our union contract, and they have broken every single one of them. 

So the next step we have taken is making this matter known to the public. The only thing I am asking for is my job back. I in no way want to hurt the blood supply, it saves thousands of lives every single day. And I want to come back and continue to help keep the blood supply going for all the lives that depend on it.  I am forging this battle for ALL Red Cross Blood Services employees on the bottom two rungs of the ladder. We have been putting up with this type of garbage from the company for far too long, and upper management NEEDS to be held accountable. 


You can also call 608-233-9300 and press zero to leave a message for the upper management allowed this ridiculous decision! 

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