Special Events: Free Girl Scout Cookies for Donors, March 10-12
March 7th, 2014
It’s always important to have a snack after giving blood. You need plenty of fuel to begin replacing the carbohydrates, electrolytes, and cells lost during donation, making it one of the few times when your doctor will be proud of you for eating sweets. Why not make the most of it? March 10-12, our donors will have the chance to indulge in a whole box of Girl Scout Cookies.
You know you can’t resist the classic flavors of Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs. If those don’t tempt you, there are lots of brand new flavors that you’re sure to enjoy. Already got plenty of cookies from your favorite Girl Scout? Don’t worry. You can choose to receive one of our rockin’ new t-shirts instead.
Visit our appointments page or call 1-800-962-0628 to schedule your donation. Want to make sure you don't have to share that box of deliciousness? Then tell you friends and family to get scheduled, too!
This week, we’re shining the spotlight on donation all-stars Al Whitney and the members of Dalton First United Methodist. They came together on March 3 to celebrate the brand new apheresis machine at our Dalton, GA facility.
The first person to give that morning was Al Whitney of Platelets Across America. With 50 years of experience as a donor and volunteer, Al knows a thing or two about what it takes to get people giving. He began organizing blood drives at his local community center in Cleveland, Ohio in the 60’s. He held a drive there every 8 weeks until 1985, but decided that still wasn’t enough. He then began holding a drive every Saturday and every eighth Monday. Al oversaw 56 drives every year between 1985 and 2000.
He retired from organizing drives in 2000, bringing in nearly 2100 donations in that final year alone. Though he continued to be a frequent donor, he once again decided that there was more he could do. In 2007, he chose his next mission: donating platelets in every state. Al’s wife Nancy was adamant that he continue the project even after her passing. He worked hard to fullfill that wish, reaching his goal in under 5 years. And he’s not slowing down. He’s making his way throughout the country again, visiting blood banks that he didn't reach the first time. To date, Al has given 5 gallons of whole blood and completed 729 platelet donations.
What’s the most valuable thing Al has learned in his travels? “Just ask.” It may seem simple, but it’s the key to getting people involved in donating. And Al isn’t the only one takes that approach. It’s a method that the members of Dalton First United Methodist believe in, too. They’re not shy about sharing their excitement about giving.
The congregation at Dalton First United Methodist have been incredibly supportive of Blood Assurance over the years, particularly of our apheresis program. They hold a drive every first Monday of the month to give their members as many opportunities to give as possible. No one was more thrilled than they were to hear that the Dalton facility would now have the capacity to do platelet donations full time.
To show their support, members of Dalton First donated platelets throughout the day on March 3. George Lo Greco became the first church member to donate on the new machine. The son of a nurse, he understood the value of donating at an early age. He began giving as soon as he turned 18 and has now been a donor for 50 years.
So what is it that makes all of these people so passionate about donating? Al Whitney has a brief but meaningful way of summing it up:
“You should donate blood to give someone another birthday. To let a father walk his daughter down the aisle. To let a mother see her son graduate.”
We thank Mr. Whitney, Mr. Lo Greco, and all of the members of Dalton First United Methodist for their amazing efforts on behalf of patients in need.
You can read about Mr. Whitney's adventures at Platelets Across America.
Visit our apheresis page to learn more about this important donation method.
Featured Donors: Carol Oglesby
February 28th, 2014
“No one’s ever asked me.”
It’s the most common reason people give for not donating blood. Fortunately, Carol Oglesby is tackling that problem head on. She’s a great donor who works hard to encourage others to become donors, too.
Carol’s passion is health and wellness. She left a job in accounting to pursue a career in the health field, eventually becoming the Assistant Director of Student Health Services for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. For the past 6 years, she’s worked with Blood Assurance to organize Bloodanooga, a two day blood drive held on the UTC campus. Hundreds of students and staff participate in the event annually.
Carol says the most exciting part of Bloodanoga is the number of first-time donors it attracts. She finds it rewarding to know that she has directly influenced many of those students to begin giving. Most, she finds, will continue to give year after year.
As a 20 year donor, Carol has a lot of great advice for those who are just starting out. She stresses the importance of preparing yourself both physically and mentally. To keep yourself healthy, make sure you have a good breakfast the morning of your donation. And don’t stress! Remember that donation is an easy process.
It’s also helpful to develop an understanding of the value of what you’re doing. She personally imagines what it would be like for her child or grandchildren to need blood and not be able to obtain it. Finding that kind of connection makes it even easier to become a consistent donor.
She has one piece of wisdom which is particularly powerful, both for new and long-time donors: “We do Bloodanooga for 2 days and only collect enough blood to keep a hospital in blood for a day. Just imagine if everyone here gave.” She understands that the need for blood is enormous, but it’s well within our reach to meet that need if we work together.
We want to congratulate Carol on another successful Bloodanooga and show our appreciation for all of her enthusiasm and dedication. Thank you for being such an amazing advocate for blood donation!