In the past, the nation’s blood supply has been very tight during the holidays and this year United Blood Services anticipates fewer donors due to illness, whether it be the seasonal or the H1N1 flu bug. Locally it takes 250 blood donations each day to keep up with hospital patients’ needs. “As we know, hospitals don’t close for the holidays,” Allison Goodson of United Blood Services said. “The blood you donate now can save someone’s life during the holidays. Is there any better gift to give?” In an effort to stock hospitals’ shelves for this year’s upcoming holiday season as well as the flu season, John Deere--Quality Equipment has teamed up with United Blood Services to sponsor community blood drives today, Tuesday, December 1st. John Deere—Quality Equipment locations in Crowley, Lafayette, Welsh and Abbeville will all host blood drives for the day long “Green Gives Red” event. “This year it is doubly important,” said Goodson of United Blood Services. The Green Gives Red Blood Drive event comes at a critical time. Blood can be stored for only 42 days and the blood that is donated now will save the lives of patients who are in the hospital or receiving medical treatments during the holiday season.
United Blood Services bloodmobile will be at the John Deere Crowley location from 1pm-5pm today, Tuesday, December 1st. “We encourage people to donate blood once more before the end of the year. Donating in early December is a great way to get the community’s blood supply ready for the holidays—and to relax!” Goodson adds. We know it can be difficult, with school and work schedules and now holiday shopping and then attempts to plan it all around high school football play-offs. With the hustle and bustle of daily life in addition to the holidays, we want to offer area residents a convenient opportunity to save lives. “It’s a wonderful way to de-stress and do something good at the same time,” said Goodson. “You can save a life, while getting in some much needed down-time. While you are donating lifesaving blood you can review your shopping list, plan a holiday meal, or just plain relax!
As a thank you, donors will also receive a specially designed “Green Gives Red” John Deere T-Shirt. Not only will you have a great feeling after donating blood at the drive, but you’ll be able to check your total cholesterol level. United Blood Services offers free cholesterol testing when people give blood. Donors can check their confidential results at www.UnitedBloodServices.org the week after their donation. “Anything ‘free’ these days is a good thing!” added Goodson. Another benefit is all blood donors are automatically enrolled in United Blood Services’ rewards program, called the Hero in Me, where points are earned for donating frequently and staying involved year after year. The points are redeemable for movie tickets, gift certificates and other prizes.
Those who plan to donate blood must be healthy. “If somebody has the flu symptoms, we ask that they wait to donate until they are 100 percent recovered,” Goodson said. She also explains that the blood center has been getting lots of questions regarding the flu shot and blood donation. “If you have received a seasonal or H1N1 flu vaccine, there’s no need to wait to donate blood,” Goodson said. “You can receive the shot that and still donate blood later that day.”
Potential donors can make an appointment to give at www.bloodhero.com (enter sponsor code JDC) or by calling Patty Suire at John Deere in Crowley at 337.783.5366 Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian.