By Izzy Anderson
For Reeves Richards, the importance of donating blood is something he’s known of for a long time.
Richards works as a DJ with KEXP 90.3 FM, where he’s been for the past five years.
“I think my first official full-time DJ-ing was 2016, when I was brought on as a permanent overnight host. Saturday night to Sunday morning, technically Sundays 2 to 6 a.m.,” Richards said.
His station joined in support of the Music’s in Our Blood campaign alongside many other artists, musicians, DJs and stations, created by Bloodworks Northwest to encourage anyone who can, to donate blood.
The artists talk about their experiences donating blood, and sometimes receiving donated blood in times of crisis, in hopes of encouraging others to join as well.
The campaign began Sept. 1, and sets out to receive 10,000 new blood donors by the end of December.
KEXP joined the cause, and has been promoting donating blood on their station.
Employees at KEXP were asked if they were interested in helping out, and Richards jumped on the opportunity.
“I was interested in joining on,” he said. “My dad’s a heart surgeon, so I kind of know the importance of giving blood. I’ve been very happy to be a part of it since.”
Richards is a big supporter of donating blood, and has been a regular donor for a long time.
However, donating blood hasn’t been the easiest task for the last year and a half.
With COVID-19 taking over hospitals and health sites lately, blood donations have been severely low.
But with many sites, pop-ups and hospitals opening their doors to donors in COVID-safe atmospheres, it’s important for the blood supply to replenish.
“It’s never [a bad] time to donate blood,” Richards said. “There’s been some pretty obvious limitations recently, but now with things opening back up, it’s safer to do that again.”
Part of Richards involvement has included talking about donating blood on-air, and helping give listeners a better understanding of the process.
“I’m able to contribute by not just donating blood, but also by talking about it on-air during my show, and to just sort of dissuade fears,” he said. “Donating blood took me less than an hour, and I was able to do it safely.”
And Richards has heard firsthand just how valuable blood donations are.
“When I talk to my dad about it, from his perspective as a doctor, you take it for granted as a resource that’s there when you need it. It can become an incredibly desperate situation,” Richards said. “So being able to provide something that can be so helpful is really nice. It’s a simple and easy thing to do, to help people caught in an emergency situation that’s out of their control.”
“You don’t realize what blood donations can really help out with. It’s used for so many different medical needs, there’s such a wide need for it,” he said.
Donors could also win a few prizes through the Music’s in Our Blood’s sweepstakes. Fly Away Music weekend getaways will be given out to four random participating blood donors in the U.S.
And any donors who give blood through October 31, will be entered to win two event tickets to see headlining artists, airfare, and hotel accommodations for a three-day weekend in Nashville, Los Angeles, Miami, or New York.
To learn more about the Music’s in Our Blood campaign, hear the local artists stories, check out donating locations, or read about the sweepstakes, visit https://www.bloodworksnw.org/music/