A (LITERAL) BLOOD DRIVE

This Red Cross volunteer uses his C-MAX Hybrid to help save lives.

By Julie Russell

Robert Burke has donated an impressive 21 gallons of his blood in his lifetime. It started when he was a young man in the military, regularly donating at blood drives on base, and has continued for more than 30 years, past his retirement. And now, as an American Red Cross volunteer in Philadelphia, Robert also helps the cause in other ways: He uses his 2014 C-MAX Hybrid to transport blood from donation sites to labs.

“The Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region has about 25 blood drives a day, just to supply the blood needed for the hospitals, and we still don’t get enough,” says Robert, who has been driving for the Red Cross for more than 11 years. “I feel fulfilled that I’ve been able to carry the blood safely in my car and get it to where they process it.”


Robert stands by his C-MAX Hybrid and his wife Cynthia’s 2007 Focus.

Robert purchased a Ford Escape Hybrid in 2008 which has helped to decrease his out-of-pocket costs for blood deliveries. “I take it as a challenge to drive as efficiently as I can,” says Robert, who takes off slowly on starts and brakes gently on hills in order to conserve gas. “I only fill up my 13-gallon tank once a month*.”

The C-MAX works just as well for Robert in the city as the country. “I drive my car in the mountains of western Pennsylvania, navigating steep slopes,” he says excitedly. “You go up one hill and use a lot of gas, but go down the other side and the engine regenerates. It’s like a break-even out there.”

Several times a month, Robert loads up his C-MAX with four or more large refrigerated boxes containing up to 22 units of blood. The cargo space comes in handy, he says. “If I want to convert it from a four-door sedan to an open wagon to carry a load, I just pull a lever, and the seat goes totally flat. It carries a lot of cargo.”

Robert says the C-MAX helps him do what he loves: “For doing my volunteer work, this car helps deliver lifesaving blood to patients in need. I feel good about what I do.”

To learn more about blood donation and volunteer opportunities, visit the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross name and emblem are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement, express or implied, of any product, service, company, opinion or political position. The American Red Cross logo is a registered trademark owned by the American National Red Cross. For more information about the American Red Cross, please visit redcross.org.
*EPA-estimated rating of 45 city/40 hwy/43 combined. Actual mileage will vary.
Tags: C-MAX

Build & Price: C-MAX

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