Local pair organizes 25 American Red Cross blood drives

January 2, 2014


Media contact: Laurie Nehring, 618-565-2411, @RedCrossBloodCP                   redcrossblood.org


Local pair organizes 25 American Red Cross blood drives

Hesston residents encouraged to celebrate and donate Jan. 16


HESSTON, Kan. (Jan. 2, 2014) — As members of the Hesston Mennonite Church, Janet Zook and Ruth Ann Toews knew of each other from church activities. The pair became friends while volunteering for the American Red Cross, coordinating the Hesston community blood drive six times a year.


Toews and Zook started serving as the blood drive coordinators for the Hesston community blood drive in January 2010. Since then, together they have hosted 24 blood drives, helping collect nearly 2,700 pints of blood for patients in need. The Hesston blood drive on Jan. 16 marks their 25th drive.


“We have our routine of how we divide distributing the posters and how we contact volunteers,” Zook said.


Zook and Toews thought it was important for the Hesston community to take part in regular blood drives and the two filled the roles of the current blood drive coordinators who were retiring.


“I volunteer because it’s a worthwhile activity, and I’m willing to donate my time,” Toews said. “Working with Janet and all of the many willing volunteers is worth the time it takes to have a blood drive.”


Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Jan. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church, 209 S. Main, Hesston


In addition to volunteer blood donors, the Red Cross relies on volunteers like Zook and Toews to organize blood drives, as well as serve donors in the refreshment area, help transport blood products and more. The Central Plains Blood Services Region has a need for volunteer drivers. Those interested can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org for more information.


The winter months are generally a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients. With the potential for bad winter weather, it’s even more important that those who are eligible to donate come forward to give lifesaving blood regularly.


How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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 (16 with parental consent in some states, including Kansas), 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.


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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.