Violet Van Gieson is a 13-year-old survivor. In June of 2020, she contracted an MRSA infection that led to the amputation of her left leg. She needed two blood transfusions during surgery and credited the kindness of strangers who gave her blood to fight another day.

The Long Beach Police Department and friends invite the community to honor Violet at a blood drive hosted by the American Red Cross of Indiana at the Old School Community Center from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 30.

Violet’s battle has included 15 surgeries and 35 days in in-patient care. She hasn’t walked since June 20, 2020. Yet, despite her circumstances, she continues to be a joy to everyone she comes across.

“She’s a beautiful young lady, a good student, and a survivor,” said Jeremy Van Gieson, Violet’s father.

Violet’s family hopes that the community will come out and help those who need blood transfusions.

“One hour out of someone’s day can have the potential of saving up to three lives, said Kristine Kaplan, blood account manager for the American Red Cross of Indiana.

Donate Blood in Honor of Violet Van Gieson
Sunday, January 30

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Old School Community Center

2501 Oriole Trail

Long Beach, IN 46360


How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800- 733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.