NEIA Red Cross
Nice to Meet You: Kyle Jensen
Welcome back to our series in which we introduce you to staff members from the Nebraska-Iowa Region through Q & As. Next up is Kyle Jensen, a Donor Recruitment Account Manager from Columbus, Nebraska.
Q: What does your title mean?
A: That's a tough questions. It means working together with communities, accounts, Blood Program Leaders (volunteers with organizations that host blood drives), volunteers, collection staff members and donors to make a difference for hospitals and patients in need. It's great to hear all of the stories out there of others receiving blood, as I always wonder if my donation or the drive that I helped out with was a part in saving that life.
Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross?
A: I will be with the American Red Cross six years this May.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I like working with all the communities and Blood Program Leaders, as it now feels like I’m a part of those communities too. And of course, I like all of the thank yous we receive working with the American Red Cross helping others in need.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?
A: We keep busy with our kids through their activities. It seems we travel somewhere every weekend. They are in volleyball, soccer, basketball, piano and guitar lessons, softball and golf. We have a 5 year old too who will now start getting in some more activities. Besides family activities, I keep busy working around the house and I try to get in as much golf as possible. I have golfed since I was 4.
Q: What is the first thing you want to do when the pandemic is over?
A: Get rid of all of our masks and be able to travel overseas without the fear of not being able to get back on time if we get the virus!
Q: What has most surprised you while working with the Red Cross?
A: The amount of employees and volunteers it takes is what has surprised me the most. I definitely couldn’t do my job without volunteers, as I have had a few days where I have helped organize 6 blood drives on the same day. It's great to be a part of that family!
Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?
A: I had a Blood Program Leader in Columbus that was a part of a drive that collected 14 units of blood, and the following week she and her newborn son ended up receiving around 15-20 units of blood because she ended up having to deliver early. Both of them survived because of blood transfusions. Her husband posted on Facebook that he will never hang up on the American Red Cross again because we were part of saving their lives. They both are now loyal donors as they know how important blood donations are.
Q: What do you wish people knew about working at the Red Cross?
A: It is a dedicated job but well worth it when you hear those stories of others surviving through blood transfusions. Also, volunteers are a big part of the American Red Cross. We are so thankful for every volunteer out there; I'm and hopeful more will consider being a part of our life-saving mission.