Although Dr. Joe Catalano retired after 29 years as a professor, he is still teaching. As a volunteer with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI), he educates high school students on the importance of making blood donation a priority as an advocate for OBI's Honor Cord program.
The program encourages students to give consistently during their high school years to earn a certificate and special cord to wear at graduation. Through the Honor Cord program, students learn the community impact they can have in saving lives.
Lynette Blevins, OBI volunteer coordinator, said she hopes Catalano’s story will lead others to offer their assistance as a volunteer.
“We particularly need people who can give a half day each week on a regular basis,” she said. “Tasks may vary based on the interests and strengths of each individual, but mostly, we are seeking good-hearted people who can welcome donors and assist with simple clerical tasks.”
Catalano began volunteering with OBI three years ago. He has greeted donors at blood drives and helped OBI staff in addition to his work at the high school.
“It is a type of constant activity that gets you excited,” he said. “If you like people, like working with people and want to do something positive to help, this would be a good opportunity.
“There’s a real need (for blood donations),” he said. “If you want to do something that is positive, doesn’t cost you anything and only takes a short time, but yet is very beneficial, donating blood is one of the best things that you can do.”
For more information, contact Lynette Blevins at (580) 222-7361 or firstname.lastname@example.org.