At nine-years-old, Alivia Werne is still a few years away from being able to donate blood—but her heart for giving back, and a family legacy of lifesaving, have led her to support Hoxworth Blood Center in a meaningful way.
Alivia (who goes by Livi) and her mom, Krista, visited Hoxworth Blue Ash over a year ago. While Krista was donating, Livi noticed that the Café area, where donors can relax and recharge post-donation, was noticeably quiet.
“One day, I noticed that no one was here making popcorn and cookies, so I found the sign on the fridge asking for volunteers,” Livi says. “I asked my mom to call the number so we could come volunteer and make cookies and popcorn for blood donors.”
Now, Livi is one of Hoxworth’s youngest volunteers, running the Café area at Hoxworth Blue Ash one Saturday a month with her mom. According to Krista, “This was all Livi’s idea. Sometimes donors will come up to me and say that it’s so nice that I have a helper, and I have to say, ‘This is all her—I’m just the driver!’”
Livi often accompanies her mom for donations. Krista, a native Cincinnatian who lives in Loveland with her family, has been a donor with Hoxworth “for years,” in part because her father was a dedicated donor for so long.
“My dad always donated. When I was little, you could only donate in Clifton down at UC, and we would go with him,” she recalls. “We weren’t allowed to go back when he was donating, so I would just wait and drink these Donald Duck cans of orange juice. My dad was a universal donor, so back then, they used to take his blood in quarter pints so they could go to newborns in these tiny little bags!”
For Krista, giving back through blood donation, and watching her daughter get involved in Hoxworth’s work, is especially meaningful, though bittersweet.
“My dad had lung cancer,” she says. “Platelets gave us more time with him…so this is really important to us. This is why we’re here and promoting how important it is.”
Livi doesn’t remember her Pop, but she agrees that it’s special to be part of Hoxworth’s lifesaving work. She says that she might be a donor once she’s old enough, but for now, her favorite part about volunteering is “getting to talk to the people, and hearing interesting stories from the donors!”
In addition to her responsibilities at Hoxworth Blue Ash, Livi is a Girl Scout and just finished the Climb For Air to raise money for the American Lung Association. It’s obvious that community service runs in her veins.
“I’m very proud that my daughter is so eager to give back,” finishes Krista. “Lifesaving runs in the family. It doesn’t cost us anything to help.”