Lions’ blood drive is still helping kids


GREENVILLE — The Darke County Lions Clubs remained good shepherds of the “Teddy Bears and Friends Blood Drive” all through the difficult Decembers of the pandemic. They celebrated the 27th annual blood drive Dec. 13 at the Greenville Church of the Brethren with nearly 100 donors and renewed hope of bringing smiles to children hospitalized during the holidays.

The Lions again raised funds and purchased more than 100 stuffed animals for young patients at Wayne HealthCare. They invited donors to sign tags with holiday wishes for young patients and attach them to the teddies with bright ribbons.

The blood drive stated with Pitsburg Lions Club volunteers serving holiday cookies in the Donor Cafe. The Arcanum Lions worked the middle shift, and the Gettysburg Lions finished the day. “We’re always the clean-up crew!” said Gettysburg Lions Club President Kim Kunkle, whose dad was a founding member.

Gettysburg Lion Ted Hicks is also a founding member. “I’ve been doing this since the Lions started helping,” he said.

“This is my first time doing it,” said new Arcanum Lions Club member Bruce Bryson. “It was coming up and I volunteered to work the bear table. There are quite a few people here!”

The blood drive totaled 99 donors, including 12 platelet and plasma donors.

Brooklynne Via picked out a teddy bear with her mom Angie, who understood the mission of helping sick children. “She was in the hospital when she was a baby,” said Angie. “She tried to drink her bottle, but she was so dehydrated.”

Brooklynne is a recent Greenville High graduate who started donating at age 16 and made her fifth lifetime donation Tuesday.

Gettysburg Lion Mike Thompson volunteers at the Teddy and Friends Blood Drive every year because of an inspiration from a teddy bear delivery many holiday seasons ago.

“I remember one year, there was this little girl in the hospital who said it might be the only present she got that year,” said Thompson. “They held up her bear and she was just ecstatic about it.”

Blood donation requirements: Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors are also asked to bring their CBC donor ID card. Donors must be at least 17 years of age (16 years old with parental consent: form available at or at the Dayton CBC and mobile blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (you may have to weigh more depending on your height), and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions can email [email protected] or call (937) 461-3220. Make an appointment at

Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services® is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Community Blood Center provides blood products to partner hospitals and health centers within its 15-county service area of western Ohio and eastern Indiana and to select hospitals and blood centers outside the region. For more information visit

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