All time high records were broken at the recent Relay for Life community event at Gulfview Middle School. Not just in fundraising to benefit cancer research, but in record breaking numbers of blood donors who came out in support of the Community Blood Center Blood Drive. The Bloodmobile was humming with first-time donors and returning donors throughout the evening.
“We had 79 registrations and we collected 49 units,” said Laura Rosen, community relations manager for the Community Blood Center. Rosen was thrilled with the latest record collection efforts at Relay for Life. “What’s collected here in Collier County, stays here, and we broke the record for the number of donations ever received at the Relay event.”
But certain types of stored blood still remains low at this time of year.
“Shelf life for blood is 42 days, however, the blood we collect is used by area patients in 7 to 10 days. So that’s why we’re always looking for a constant stream of donors,” said Rosen.
“Our need goes up during any holidays and during the summer months. We lose a lot of donors when the snowbirds go home. Our regular donors also go on vacation in the summer, and they take their blood with them,” Rosen explained.
That’s why Larry Litt, a local retiree from Collier County Public Schools, has continued to donate his blood for the past 66 years, now on a biweekly basis. He donates at the Community Blood Center and the Bloodmobile as a platelet donor and has donated more than 70 gallons of blood so far for patients at NCH and Physicians Regional hospitals.
The question Litt has for donors who are not quite ready to give blood, is a simple one. “What else can you think of where you’re saving a life without doing any work? If you think about it, you really aren’t doing anything. You’re lying there. The funny thing for me is I sleep, and I’m normally taking a nap when I make a donation.”
Rosen commended Litt’s donor efforts and hopes more community members will follow his lead in donating often.
“We are always in need of O-positive and O-negative blood donors to replenish our inventory, and sometimes the need changes for all donors. We need a constant stream of donors to replenish all inventories,” she said.
In addition to local high school blood collections, the Community Blood Center Blood Mobile will be heading to theaters and rewarding successful donors with movie passes for their efforts.
“Blood drives are important for us, and you can go to our website to see locations, dates and times to attend,” Rosen said. “We’re always looking to partner with local businesses who are willing to work with us, too. We need a minimum of fifteen donors to have the Bloodmobile visit businesses.”
If You Go:
May Movie Madness
Community Blood Center blood drives
Regal Cinemas Hollywood 20 Theater
6006 Hollywood Blvd., Naples
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 30, May 1, 7, 21, 22, 28 and 29, and May 30
23106 Fashion Drive, Estero
1 to 6 p.m. on May 14
Call 436-5455 for more information, or find the Community Blood Center on Facebook at facebook.com/givebloodcbc or go to www.givebloodsbs.org.