05/31/11 — Blood donations needed this summer

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Blood donations needed this summer

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on May 31, 2011 1:46 PM

Now that summer is here, the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross is asking local businesses, churches and civic groups to sponsor blood drives.

And, to help draw both sponsors and donors, the Red Cross is offering several special incentives at every blood drive during the summer.

New sponsors during June, July and August will receive Red Cross T-shirts to give to their donors, according to Kimberly Berrier, senior donor recruiter for the Carolinas Blood Services Region.

An all-day drive at Wayne Memorial Hospital will have a Red Cross drink koozie and fold-up Frisbee as a thank-you to its donors.

"The all-day drive is a way to get any employee to donate blood, no matter what shift they work," Mrs. Berrier said.

One new sponsor is Goldsboro Pediatrics. Its donors will receive a Red Cross T-shirt and an extra bonus -- a meet-and-greet pass to a Vans Warped Tour, Music Saves Lives.

"Also at the blood drive at Goldsboro Pediatrics, one lucky donor will receive two tickets for that concert and the meet-and-greet pass.

"A lot of times our promotions are for the state or region," Mrs. Berrier said. "But the drawing for these tickets are just for donors at Goldsboro Pediatrics' blood drive. The target is all those high school teens who are out of school for the summer"

There will also be two Christmas in June blood drives, one at Goldsboro Housing Authority and one at Cooper Bussmann.

Donors will receive a Red Cross ornament (a red box with white ribbon and the Red Cross symbol on it), silly bandz for the kids and information about free Red Cross gear.

The blood drive at Oak Forest Church of Christ will be the chapter's first ever Bloodstock Scholarship Program. Local students have the opportunity to host a blood drive and earn either a $1,000 or $2,000 scholarship. Laura Balmer will host the blood drive.

Mrs. Berrier said the Red Cross is trying to beef up the summer blood drives with these extra incentives because the summer is typically the time when there are fewer blood drives and donations fall to an all-time low -- largely due to families taking vacations and schools being out.

"The schools are a huge part of our successful blood drives during non-summer months," she said.

"While donors may take a holiday, the need for blood never does. Regardless of the time of year, the Carolinas Blood Services Region must have more than 1,600 people giving blood and platelets each weekday to meet the demand of 103 hospitals."

And with schools out and more people on vacation, there is an increased need for blood due to traffic accidents and people scheduling elective surgeries.

Mrs. Berrier said Wayne County doesn't have enough blood drives this summer to meet its collection goal.

"That's a bit unnerving," she said. "Wayne County has always stepped up and done more than their fair share. So I decided if I couldn't get anymore blood drives on the schedule, I'd try to get more donors at the drives we already have."

The Red Cross provides all the materials for groups hosting blood drives. And it provides refreshments and volunteers to work the snack area.

Anyone wanting to host a blood drive should call the Red Cross office at 735-7201.