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Community blood drive collects 120 units

To the Editor:
The first blood drive for 2017 was held Wednesday, April 26. The American Red Cross set our goal for this drive at 122 units; we fell two units short of our goal and collected 120 units. We again had 23 no-show appointments, 15 of them with appointments after 5 p.m.
There were 111 presenting donors. Eight donors were deferred for various reasons and two donations were uncompleted. Of the remaining 101 donors, we had 80 qualified whole-blood (giving 80 units) and 21 double-red donors (able to give 40 units). Each unit collected may help up to three patients, so the 120 units collected may help up to 360 total patients.
Each blood drive is like a giant puzzle with many pieces to it.
The blood drive appointment hours are 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. The hardworking American Red Cross (ARC) team arrived at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the blood drive for setup, then worked diligently through the afternoon and evening, loaded up and departed around 9 p.m. The team of ARC medical personnel brought in 10 whole-blood beds, four double-red beds, and nine interview cubicles.
A truly diligent, efficient, and hard-working group of local volunteers assist at each blood drive. My Co-Chair and Scheduling Coordinator Nelda Klaustermeier and her staff of callers do the hard work before, during and after the drives preparing the donor schedules; without appointments, there would be no blood drive. Our publicity person Marne Long gets the information to the area newspaper and churches, and forwards the post-blood-drive statistics for publication. Greeters register the donors and manage the appointments for the ARC team. Our canteen workers serve refreshments to the donors after completion of their blood donations. “Observers” are recruited who watch for any donors having problems after donating. Our cook Sharon Schauer prepares and serves the much-appreciated late-afternoon light meal for the Red Cross staff and volunteers on duty during their shift; at this drive 24 staff and workers were served. Each drive is a team effort and our many volunteers make it happen. The efforts of all these volunteers help us fulfill our lifesaving mission to the American Red Cross. Thank you, volunteers!
The Glencoe City Center allows us the use of the ballroom in the beautiful historic facility for the blood drive, with setup and takedown by the custodians. (As a side note, there are ARC personnel at every blood drive who comment on the remarkable building and setting for the blood drive.) We have the support of local businesses, including the local Coborn’s and Security Bank & Trust, with their services and products. The local newspaper, The McLeod County Chronicle, does not charge us for publicity for the blood drive. Keebler Corporation continues its nationwide support of the American Red Cross with donations of Keebler products for the after-donation snacks. We use the financial support from Thrivent Financial Action Team to cover the cost of the additional refreshments we serve to the donors after their donation, and food for the meal served to the ARC team and volunteers.  Thank you, Glencoe community businesses!
The most important pieces of this puzzle are the donors — who make the appointments, show up to donate, and do it all over again the next time! Without the donors, there would be no blood drive. Each drive is truly a community team effort for which the American Red Cross and its recipients are grateful. Even though we fell short of our goal, the ARC was pleased with the results of the drive. As was stated in a portion of the ARC note following the drive:  “Thank you so much for a great day!” Thank you, donors!
Mark your calendars: We repeat the whole process three months later on Wednesday, July 26, the second Glencoe Community Blood Drive of the year. Many donors have already pre-scheduled their July appointments. There are still open time slots, so if you want to pre-set your July appointment, please call Nelda Klaustermeier at 320-864-3475.
Charleen Engelmann,
Glencoe Community Blood Drive