Keondra Jones is a passionate collections specialist and on-site instructor at the American Red Cross Nashville Blood Donation Center in the Tennessee Region. There, she trains and supervises collection staff members, and is responsible for ensuring the safe collection of blood products from donors while providing a great customer service experience.
“Every day is a gift from God,” said Keondra. “I try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”
Keondra knows firsthand how it feels to have a loved one in need of lifesaving blood. After graduating from medical assistant school, she was drawn to the Red Cross mission when her mother received a blood transfusion. Fascinated by how a blood donation helped her mother, she decided to join the Red Cross blood collections team in 2005.
“My mom later received two units of blood during her quadruple bypass surgery in 2010 and four units of plasma in 2020 when she was septic from a peritoneal port infection,” said Keondra. “Plasma sustained her life for an additional 30 days.”
A native of Flintstone, Georgia, Keondra has lived in Nashville for over 30 years where she is also the owner of an eyelash boutique. A dedicated Red Cross worker for nearly 17 years, Keondra has served as a collections team supervisor managing collection operations and compliance.
In her spare time, she enjoys attending service at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and participating in monthly community service activities, such as feeding the homeless and hosting clothing drives as a member of The Order of the Eastern Star (OES).
While the pandemic has brought its challenges, Keondra understands the immeasurable impact she and other frontline Red Crossers have made.
“In today’s world it can sometimes seem that small actions may not make an impact,” said Keondra. “Seeing a donor, with tears, express gratitude that we were collecting convalescent plasma — because it helped her husband when he was diagnosed with COVID — keeps us focused on our lifesaving mission and working together as one Red Cross family.”
Keondra is a force for good in more ways than one. In fact, she’s hosting her first blood drive in August with the goal to help save more lives.
“There is no guarantee of tomorrow,” said Keondra. “I write it on my heart that every day is the best day of the year and I act as if what I do makes a difference because it does. [At the Red Cross], we are dedicated to improving the lives of those we serve, and my heart is so full.”
This story is part of an American Red Cross Force for Good blog series, featuring dedicated Red Cross workers whose exceptional contributions to our humanitarian mission enable us to help and support people in communities across the country.