GREENVILLE – Donors got a reminder of St. Valentine’s Day when they visited the Zechar Bailey blood drive on Tuesday.
The Flower Patch again partnered with Community Blood Center and volunteers from Zechar Bailey Funeral Homes to thank donors with a free flower.
A colorful carnation for everyone who registers to donate has become a tradition at the holiday blood drive. Despite a damp, blustery day, the blood drive totaled 117 whole blood donors and 98 donations, plus a dozen platelet and plasma donations for 102 percent of the collection goal.
Donn Thornhill from Zechar Bailey helped organize volunteers then donated platelets for his 478th lifetime donation.
“It’s been going pretty well,” Thornhill said. “I don’t think we’ve had any no-shows.”
The monthly blood drives at the Greenville Church of the Brethren have traditionally included machines for platelet and plasma donations. CBC’s goal in 2019 is to recruit new platelet and plasma donors and provide more opportunity for these donations at community blood drives.
“I come here every month,” platelet donor Bill Coppess said. “They would rather have my platelets.”
Greenville’s Kim Schmidt was used to donating whole blood six times a year, but she has been donating platelets exclusively since last May and made her milestone 80th donation – the equivalent of 10 gallons – on Tuesday.
“They called and asked me because my platelet count is high,” Schmidt said. “I asked, ‘Which is more beneficial?’ They said both are, but not everyone can give platelets.”
A platelet donation does take longer than a whole blood donation. Chris Eliker was especially fast with her whole blood donation Tuesday.
“Eight minutes,” she said. “It’s painless, quick, and you feel good afterwards because you helped someone else.”
It’s a similar feeling of satisfaction for Elizabeth Mendenhall, who drew closer to her goal of 100 donations with her 97th at Tuesday’s blood drive.
“I feel better when I give blood,” she said. “I know I did something good, and I think it’s good for you.”
Before heading home donor Kyle Kagey chose a red carnation.
“It’s going right for my wife,” he said.
“I love red,” donor Angela Penny said as she also chose a red carnation.
But getting an early start to St. Valentine’s Day didn’t lower any expectations for the celebration with her husband on Thursday.
“It doesn’t,” she said. “We’re going out to dinner … I just hope it doesn’t snow.”
Donors can connect with Community Blood Center for the latest information and services at www.GivingBlood.org. Individuals can get fast and complete answers on how to make their first donation, organize a blood drive or bring Community Blood Center’s education program to a school. People can get all the updates in the CBC/CTS newsroom, find quick links to Community Blood Center’s social media pages or schedule an appointment to donate by connecting to www.DonorTime.com.
Donors are required to provide a photo ID that includes their full name. Past CBC donors also are 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 www.givingblood.org or at CBC branch and blood drive locations), weigh a minimum of 110 pounds (donors may have to weigh more, depending on their height) and be in good physical health. The Food and Drug Administration changes blood donor eligibility guidelines periodically. Individuals with eligibility questions are invited to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-388-GIVE. Donors can make an appointment at www.DonorTime.com.
Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services is an independent, not-for-profit organization. Community Blood Center provides blood products to 25 hospitals and health centers within a 15-county service area in the Miami (Ohio) and Whitewater (Indiana)Valleys.
For more information about Community Blood Center/Community Tissue Services, visit www.givingblood.org.