New York Blood Center Enterprises (NYBCe) and its nine divisions — New York Blood Center Blood Bank of Delmarva (BBD), Community Blood Center (CBC), Comprehensive Cell Solutions (CCS), Innovative Blood Resources (IBR), Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute (LFKRI), National Cord Blood Program (NCBP), National Center for Blood Group Genomics (NCBGG), and Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) — rely on financial contributions to fulfill their lifesaving mission. Specifically, contributions from generous constituents help the organization collect and distribute blood, conduct groundbreaking research, fight against COVID-19, and more.
One such constituent is April Miller, a Kohl’s® Associate in Dover, Delaware. April has been a longtime supporter of NYBCe’s Blood Bank of Delmarva through not only financial contributions but also frequent blood donations. Serving as a captain of Kohl’s “Kohl’s Cares” program, April also regularly encourages her fellow associates to support the organization’s cause.
Recently, April answered some questions about her connection with BBD and why she continues to support this division of NYBCe. Representatives from Kohl’s also spoke with NYBCe about Kohl’s Cares and the Kohl’s Volunteer Program. Read both interviews below.
A Conversation with April Miller, Kohl’s Associate & Kohl’s Cares Captain
Q: What is your relationship to Blood Bank of Delmarva? How did you first hear about the organization?
April: I’m an avid donor to BBD. I first heard about it when someone brought information to Kohl’s about a blood drive in 2007.
Q: What inspired you to donate blood and financial gifts to BBD? Was there something specific that attracted you to their cause?
April: My Memaw inspired me to give blood for the first time when I was 20. We were in the American Legion together and loved to give back to the community and help whenever we could. I also love to give because I’m healthy enough to do it, and it’s my way of serving with a purpose.
Q: How long have you been supporting BBD through blood donations and financial gifts?
April: I’m an avid donor and have donated blood to BBD a total of 55 times over the past 13 years, which equates to six gallons of whole blood and three gallons of convalescent plasma. I donated whole blood three times last year and convalescent plasma three times this year. My next donation is scheduled for next month!
As you might know, Kohl’s took the opportunity during the pandemic to pivot its Kohl’s Volunteer Program until we can volunteer in small groups again — which will hopefully be very soon! During this time, I was able to donate blood and plasma and count this time as volunteer hours to further benefit the nonprofit with grant support.
Q: What’s motivated you to stay involved with BBD over the past 13 years?
April: I stay involved with BBD because of the people at the Dover site. They are like a second family and almost everyone knows me by name. While I give, I enjoy chatting and catching up with them.
Q: How does donating to BBD make you feel?
April: Donating to BBD makes me feel fulfilled and “warm and fuzzy” inside. I feel happy and proud to carry on what my Memaw did for many years. I usually post my picture on Facebook about donating to bring more awareness to my friends, and they love to cheer me on. I hope to encourage others to donate too. Sometimes, they share how blood donations or the need for blood has affected their lives.
Q: We learned that you announce to your team before the store opens how to give back to the community. Is BBD your organization of choice or do you switch it up?
April: I make announcements to my team before the store opens and in the afternoon to promote Kohl’s Cares and share opportunities to give back to the community with my store team. I mention many facts about our Kohl’s Cares program because I’m very passionate about it and have been a Captain at my store for several years.
Before becoming a Kohl’s Cares Captain, I volunteered regularly both here in Dover, DE and at our Salisbury, MD, location. I love giving back to our communities and showing the world Kohl’s cares.
I often make posters in the break room to promote what’s going on in Kohl’s Cares and the corporate focus at the time. I recommend that our associates pick their favorite nonprofits that they love and give them ideas of how they can help out. I also tell them that with all that’s going on in the world, our nonprofits need us now more than ever!
Q: Why do you think others should donate blood or financial gifts to BBD?
April: I feel that others should donate to BBD because you never know when you, a family member, or friend may need blood. People that you don’t know or may never meet need it everyday!
A Conversation With Kohl’s Corporate
Q: Kohl’s has a robust corporate social responsibility program. Can you explain a bit further how philanthropy and volunteering fits into the program?
Kohl’s: Kohl’s corporate social responsibility platform is focused on family health and wellness. Our purpose – to inspire and empower families to lead fulfilled lives – guides how we work with partners, how we approach philanthropy, how we consider the environment, and how we touch the lives of our customers, associates and communities. These efforts extend to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) areas.
Q: We identified April as both a blood donor as well as a financial gift giver through Kohl’s Volunteer Program. How do employees choose and/or learn about nonprofits to support?
Kohl’s: The wonderful thing about the Kohl’s Volunteer Program is that it allows associates to volunteer with local nonprofit organizations they are passionate about. Kohl’s has a volunteering platform that houses thousands of qualifying 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Any Kohl’s associate has the opportunity to search the platform to find eligible organizations or events that they feel passionate about.
Q: Before the store opens, April gives her team ideas on how to give back to the community. Is this a standard process for all Kohl’s stores? If so, what is the process of which organization gets announced?
Kohl’s: April is a wonderful supporter of the Kohl’s Volunteer Program and really drives communication as a Volunteer Champion. April is one of many Volunteer Champions throughout the company that Kohl’s Community Relations Team partners with to share local community and volunteer news with their teams.
Q: In terms of Kohl’s Cares and grants given by Kohl’s, do nonprofits have to apply or does Kohl’s choose which organizations to financially donate to?
Kohl’s: Kohl’s believes healthy communities help support healthy families, so we give back to our communities with money, resources, talent, and time. Kohl’s partners with national and hometown organizations, as well as nonprofits across the country to make a difference in the communities we share.
Learn more about Kohl’s partnerships.
In order to qualify for the Kohl’s Volunteer Program, nonprofits must be a public charity that has a current tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is registered in the Benevity Causes portal.
Q: Does Kohl’s require their employees to partake in the volunteer program?
Kohl’s: The Kohl’s Volunteer Program is a completely voluntary program available to all associates who are interested in supporting nonprofits in their local community. For every volunteer hour tracked by each associate, the benefiting nonprofit will receive a monetary reward. Our generous volunteers give their personal time, energy, and talent, to enhance and preserve the well-being of the areas they live and work.
BBD and NYBCe rely on financial contributions from generous constituents like Rose Mary Colorafi in order to provide vital healthcare services to communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. NYBCe also requires financial contributions to conduct lifesaving research and train the next generation of leaders in cellular therapy and transfusion medicine.
To help NYBCe fulfill their mission, you can give via their online donation form right now or visit our Support Us section to learn about other ways to give. You can donate directly to the Blood Bank of Delmarva here.
For more information on NYBCe’s philanthropic needs, contact the Office of Philanthropy. To schedule an appointment to donate blood and help NYBCe after the COVID-19 pandemic caused their supply to drop to dangerously low levels, visit donate.nybc.org.