DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Thanksgiving is over, but Community Blood Center is still giving thanks to those who donate blood through the end of next week.
The Blood Center started the “Thanks for Giving” drive on Black Friday, but marketing manager Mark Pompilio said the severe need for blood led them to add on a new initiative for next week.
“You can come into the downtown Dayton Blood Center…and to thank you, we’ll have a $10 Kroger card in addition to a beautiful long sleeve t-shirt with the theme ‘hometown heroes.’
Pompilio said getting donations around this time of year is always important in order to make up for the decrease in donations during the winter months when people tend to stay inside. But this year, he said the pandemic has made it even more difficult to get the blood they need to make it through the season.
“We keep running up against two of the most serious problems of very few high school blood drives anymore and very few business blood drives. And when they are held, they’re at much smaller capacity and that just puts us at a constant disadvantage with meeting the need of the hospitals,” he explained.
Blood donor Judith LaMusga said she understands first-hand the importance of giving blood after being diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this year. She said she feels like helping others is her duty, and the poke of a needle has not stopped her from giving blood more than 500 times to help those experiencing health challenges much more serious than her own.
“I just think I’ve been blessed with good health, other than that stupid COVID,” she said. “And I think that I’m just here to give the one… thing that you cannot get artificial. There is no such thing as artificial blood. So it takes someone coming in and giving in order for all those people who are in the hospital to get.”
Pompilio said the one request the Blood Center is making is that community members schedule appointments ahead of time to make following health guidelines a more seamless process when donors do come in.
“That’s so important that we make sure that people trust us and are confident that they are safe when they donate blood, and that means we must continue the protocols that we’ve had in place all through the pandemic,” Pompilio said. “You’re going to have to wear a mask, we ask that you make an appointment, we’re going to keep social distancing, we don’t hand out open foods. But when we do ask for a lot of people to come in on an event like Black Friday, we do have to be really cautious that we’re not crowding them in.”