When Jeanne Jones was a child, she watched her father come home with a bandage around his arm every four to six weeks.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Jones received her own first bandage at 18 after donating blood through the American Red Cross as a high school student.

“My father was very inspirational,” Jones said. “He ended up donating blood 483 times before he had to stop. He was always committed and inspired me, but I wasn’t very consistent in donating until my mom got sick.”

Jones’ mother, who passed away 16 years ago, needed blood on several occasions.

“That really is what prompted me to understand how important it is to give,” Jones said.

But Jones’ family’s experiences with the Red Cross didn’t stop there. Six years ago, her brother and his family had a house fire.

“His entire home burned down,” Jones said. “The Red Cross was there and gave my brother and his family gift cards, so they’d be able to buy food and put them up in a hotel.”

Jones, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) director of claims, said family members who lived locally provided support as well.

“I was just thinking about if my brother and his family had been alone,” Jones said. “It was really critical and important the Red Cross was there.”

Now, as a board member of the American Red Cross Omaha/Council Bluffs Metro Chapter, Jones gives her time to support the organization.

Jones joined the board in June of 2019 and is a member of the diversity and inclusion committee. She regularly donates blood and volunteers at blood drives.

“Volunteering my time at the blood drives is something I’ve really enjoyed,” Jones said. “It’s been fantastic.”

Jones encourages others to donate and support the Red Cross.

“There’s always, always a demand,” Jones said. “I think it’s great that when we see a natural disaster, people will come out and donate, but it’s important for everyone to realize demand is high all year long.”

BCBSNE hosts several blood drives throughout the year at its Omaha and Lincoln offices.

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