LARUE, Ohio (Aug. 14, 2018) — The LaRue community is celebrating 30 years of helping save lives with a special anniversary American Red Cross blood drive, Saturday, Aug. 18 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the LaRue United Methodist Church coordianted by long time volunteer, Tom Myers.
In 1989, Tom’s wife, Diana, needed two units of blood after complications of child birth. They knew that blood came from a generous volunteer donor. They were so thankful to blood donors they wanted to do something to give back. That’s when Tom decided to host the first LaRue community blood drive with the Red Cross.
“We wanted to replace the blood Diana needed,” Tom said. “In January 1989, we both became first time blood donors, and we are both still donating today.”
Over the next 29 years, Tom helped coordinate more than 200 blood drives in LaRue which resulted in approximately 10,000 blood products for hospital patients in need. “It’s so easy to host a blood drive, and it has been a very rewarding experience,” Tom said. “It’s gratifying to know you are helping others even in this small way.”
Hosting a blood drive with the Red Cross can be a rewarding experience, though not many volunteer blood drive coordinators have been actively hosting drives for three decades.
“When we realized we were coming up on the 30th year of LaRue blood drives, we knew we had to celebrate,” said Kelly Beck, Red Cross recruitment account manager. “To think of the many lives that have been positively impacted because of Tom and the LaRue blood donors is amazing. It’s a generation of helping save lives right here in LaRue.”
The Red Cross is thankful for those who have given blood in LaRue over the years and hopes to see returning faces, as well as new faces, at this blood drive. “Whether you are a long-time donor or have never given before, everyone is invited to join us for this special 30th year celebration to help save lives,” said Beck. “Especially during the summer months when fewer people give, we need more blood donors now.”
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces an emergency blood shortage and has issued an urgent call for blood and platelet donors to give now so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatment they need. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. More donations are immediately needed to help replenish the blood supply.
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide.
LaRue 30th Anniversary Blood Drive
Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018
8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
LaRue United Methodist Church
166 N. High St., LaRue, OH 43332
Those who come to donate with the Red Cross July 30 through August 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card by email. Everyone who comes to donate now through September 3 can receive an exclusive Cedar Fair ticket offer that helps support the Red Cross. Blood drive participants can go to RedCrossBlood.org/CedarFair to purchase discounted tickets for gate admission. For each ticket purchased through the website, Cedar Fair will donate $2 to the Red Cross to support its humanitarian mission. Terms and conditions apply and are available at RedCrossBlood.org/CedarFair.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit RedCross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross