Hosting a bone marrow/stem cell donor drive is one of the most effective ways to reach the local public. Only 7% of Asian Americans are registered in the National Registry. These in-person drives are essential to finding potential matches for patients in need like Janet.

What is a bone marrow drive?

A bone marrow drive is an organized effort to inform, educate, and recruit potential marrow donors for the National Registry. Drives can be set for as short as 2 hours or as long as 6 hours. Once a donor is recruited, he/she is entered into the national database and remains on the registry until his/her 61st birthday and may be asked to donate marrow/blood cells to someone he/she does not know.

1. First, a date, time and location should be established. Any place that has high traffic (especially Asians) such as:

  • Churches and Places of Worship
  • Colleges, Universities and Schools (student organizations)
  • Companies, Organizations and Workplaces
  • Festivals and Community Events
  • Any large gathering of people
  • Community Centers

Some drives may have a larger turnout than others, but any event resulting in ~25 or more new registrants is worthwhile!

2. Contact us at helpingjanet@gmail.com. We help you plan the drive by referring you to a bone marrow donor recruitment organization in your area. The recruitment organization will provide all the forms, support and training that you’ll need during your drive. Drives can be set up within a week depending on where you are located, but it is preferred to give 2-3 weeks notice so that proper planning and promoting can be done.

3. Make sure you have a few tables, chairs, and 4-10 volunteers, depending on how large an event it will be. With the help of volunteers, drives are usually more successful. Volunteer work mainly entails handing out flyers, helping people with registration forms, and supporting the recruitment organization representative(s).

4. Promote your drive. Marrow drives are more successful when publicizing the event a week or two before the actual date. Newspapers, radio, television, flyers, posters, e-mail and press releases are various ways to promote the drive to let people know when and where it will take place. You can download our Helping Janet resources here (there will be a future link for this “resource” page)

5. Try to educate people on the registration and donation process. It might be good to stress that registering only requires filling out a form, 4 quick cotton swabs of the inside of their mouth, and that 70% of all bone marrow transplants can be done entirely through the blood.

6. Send details of your drive to helpingjanet@gmail.com as soon as possible so we can provide support, keep tabs on the Helping Janet-specific registrations and update our calendar of drives.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions!

Credit: Team Matthew