Peer pressure, a New Year’s resolution and the cookies are the reasons six stylists at South Town Hair cite for donating blood to the Huron Regional Medical Center blood bank this holiday season.
Stylist Julie Beck, who began donating blood 28 years ago, encouraged her coworkers to give. “Every time I’d come back to the salon after donating, I would tell them, just do it!” said Beck. “This year, they finally took me up on it!”
“Julie kept telling us HRMC needs more blood donors,” explained Linda Harmon. “I finally gave in to the peer pressure and said let’s do it. Donna Leichtenberg is so nice – and the cookies are great.”
Many people are busy this time of year rushing around trying to find just the right Christmas gifts for loved ones. Why not give the gift of life and benefit a needy family at the same time? Donors who give blood at the HRMC blood bank between Thanksgiving and the New Year will not only help save lives, but also benefit the Salvation Army Christmas Basket Program.
HRMC’s blood bank and Huron Laboratory Services, P.C. will donate gift cards good for $20 worth of meat to the Salvation Army on behalf of the first 100 donors who give blood between Nov. 27 and Dec. 31, 2015. The program is open to anyone interested in donating blood.
“The extra bonus of donating to someone less fortunate while giving the gift of life inspires people to take the time out of their busy schedule to donate,” explained Donna Leichtenberg, CLT, blood donor coordinator for HRMC. “This year, we are also looking to recruit a few more regular donors as many of those who have given so faithfully for so many years are not able to give or have passed on.”
Donating blood is completely safe for the donor, and the process only takes about 30 minutes. Donors age 16 and older can donate up to one pint of blood every 56 days. Those who are 16 years old need written permission from a parent. Upon arriving at the scheduled appointment, a short questionnaire is completed to determine any risk factors that would prohibit the donor from donating blood. This questionnaire is completely confidential. Donated blood is tested and donors are notified of any abnormalities through a confidential process.
HRMC’s blood bank is one of only two non-profit, medically sponsored community blood banks in the state of South Dakota. The Huron community uses more than 1,100 units of blood each year to meet the needs of patients with cancer, heart disease, leukemia, severe anemia, bone and joint disorders, as well as surgery and trauma. HRMC is currently in need of new donors to give on a regular basis.
“For me, blood donation was a New Year’s resolution,” explained Sheri Thelen. “It feels good to help others – and check that promise off my list.”
“I started donating 28 years ago when my mom was having surgery, and I asked the nurses what I could do to help since I felt so helpless,” said Beck. “I continue to give because this is something simple I can do to give back to my community – and the impact is great.”
Community members interested in donating blood and having a gift card donated to the Salvation Army on their behalf can call 353-6530 to schedule an appointment. For convenience, appointments are available Monday through Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After-hours appointments are also available by request. More information about becoming a regular donor is available at http://www.huronregional.org/services/blood-bank.