Seattle Opera Pivots From Baritones to Blood as They Host a Pop-up Drive

Sean Airhart

Seattle Opera pairs up with Bloodworks Northwest this May to provide a pop-up blood drive in a time of national shortage. The blood drive will be hosted at the Opera Center, Seattle Opera’s new administration and civic home, located next to McCaw Hall. People wishing to give blood can sign up to donate on May 18, 20, 25 or 27.  

This blood drive is the third that Seattle Opera has hosted with Bloodworks Northwest within the last year. The first drive held in August 2020 attracted 196 donators over four days and it is estimated that the donations helped as many as 500 people in the Greater Seattle area.

It is initiated in response to a desperate need in the Pacific Northwest as demand has increased by 18% and most blood types are at emergency levels in hospitals. Confusion surrounding blood donation and the COVID-19 vaccine have caused donators to skip appointments—to clear up this confusion, no wait time is needed between receiving the vaccine and giving blood.

Vicki Finson, Bloodworks EVP of Blood Services, urges the public to make—and keep—a donation appointment. “We’re actively communicating with hospitals to conserve blood and appealing to donors to book appointments so that doctors don’t need to make difficult decisions like canceling surgeries or postponing treatments based on the blood supply. And because donation is by appointment only, if you cannot make your appointment, it’s critical to cancel so others can fill in for you.”

The pop-up will follow social-distancing guidelines and donors must wear a mask or face covering. No walk-ins, guests, or those under 16 years of age will be allowed onsite. The donation appointment will last one hour.

The Seattle Opera and Bloodworks Northwest blood drive will be held on May 18 at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on May 20, 25 and 27 at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Appointments are required; they can be made on Seattle Opera’s website or by calling 800.398.7888.