Red Cross Unveils New Springfield Headquarters
“We are so excited to be under the same roof as our colleagues in disaster services,” says Jecoliah Ellis, public relations for the American Red Cross Blood Services. “A lot of them are blood donors, a lot of our volunteers are blood donors, so now when they come here to take a life saving class, they can also donate blood.”
Wednesday morning, representatives from the American Red Cross unveiled their soon-to-be home.
The former Spalding Sports facility at 150 Brookdale Street is significantly larger than their current headquarters on Cottage Street and their blood donation center on Main Street. Now, both groups will be able to work together, under the same roof.
“Every week we have people coming to our Cottage Street site to donate blood — we have our blood collection down on Main Street,” says Rick Lee, executive director of the Pioneer Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. “During times of disaster, we’d often have people going to the blood center to donate money or to volunteer, and it was just awkward — it wasn’t a horrible thing, it was just awkward.”
Lee adds, “I hate to send a blood donor across town when they’ve already come over here.”
Moving all of the organization’s services to one location will also help the Red Cross make better use of the funds they raise.
“It brings us efficiencies that will save us money and make the organization leaner and more efficient as we go into the future, and that’s important for any business,” says Lee.
The Red Cross plans to move into their new building in September.
The new facility will also serve as a national emergency communications center for families of active duty military personnel. It’s one of only four hubs in the country.