The Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) and the Tomorrow Fund are encouraging the community to make every effort to donate blood or platelets during school vacation week. From Sunday, April 14, through Saturday, April 20, RIBC will donate $1 to The Tomorrow Fund on behalf of every donor who gives blood, platelets or plasma at any of its six donor centers, essentially multiplying each act of kindness.

School vacation week is a time when the blood center struggles to meet donation goals. Schools that normally hold blood drives are on break. Kara LeBlanc, Marketing Communications Manager at RIBC says, “The kids at the clinic don’t get a break from needing blood and blood products. Both nonprofit organizations exist to help the same families in our community, and in this way we can encourage donors to keep the blood supply strong while we pay their kindness forward to The Tomorrow Fund.”

Joni Guay receives red cells and platelets weekly at The Tomorrow Fund clinic, all of which come from Rhode Island Blood Center donors.

The missions of the two organizations are interconnected with the RIBC providing over 18,000 units of blood products each year to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, which include the patients being cared for at The Tomorrow Fund outpatient clinic. For the past six years, 14-year-old Joni Guay of Massachusetts received weekly blood and platelet transfusion at The Tomorrow Fund clinic for aplastic anemia. Those transfusions allow her to live a full and active life. Joni’s mom Kelly is raising her four children solo, as her husband was diagnosed with late stage stomach cancer and passed away in 2015. Kelly says, “The Tomorrow Fund Clinic has been awesome over the years in helping with everything from copay assistance to covering our parking costs each week, to cafeteria stipends on longer clinic days. More important than anything though, the staff are like family to me and my kids, providing us with the emotional support we need to make sure Joni is getting the best care to live as normal a life as possible.”

Lisa M. Abbenante, Executive Director of The Tomorrow Fund, says, “The unexpected journey children diagnosed with cancer and their families face is life changing. Each journey through childhood cancer is different; different diagnoses, different treatments and sadly different outcomes. Help us help them by donating this week at one of the six Rhode Island Blood Centers.”

The Rhode Island Blood Center has six donor centers conveniently located throughout the state in Woonsocket, Providence, Warwick, Narragansett, Middletown and Westerly. Visit ribc.org for hours of operation and to make an appointment. All presenting donors at the six centers will also be automatically entered to win a pair of Red Sox tickets for the Fenway game on May 18. 

Schedule Appointment

If you'd like to support The Tomorrow Fund in more ways, click here.