VERSAILLES — Midmark’s Nov. 2 employee blood drive made history, not just because donors got a surprise visit from Deloris Jordan, mother of world basketball icon Michael Jordan, and president of the James R. Jordan Foundation International, but because the blood drive totaled 62 donors and 55 units donated.
It was enough to officially surpass 7,000 units donated with Solvita (formerly Community Blood Center) since Midmark began hosting blood drives in 2011.
“We pulled up the number for the Deloris Jordan visit,” said Mitch Eiting, president of the Midmark Foundation, manager of Philanthropic and Corporate Giving, and blood drive coordinator, in a press release from Solvita. “We realized we were close to the 7,000 mark and thought, ‘That’s pretty cool.’”
Midmark is partnering with the Jordan Foundation to donate medical equipment to the Kenya Women and Children’s Wellness Centre. Jordan toured the production facility where the equipment is made and visited the blood drive during a tour of the Experience Center.
“Pretty cool!” said Midmark donor Allen York, who chatted with Jordan, as he made his 28th lifetime donation, in the release. “It’s a surprise. We saw a lot of people coming in and thought, ‘What is going on here?’”
Jordan first collaborated with Solvita Chief Operating Officer Diane Wilson in 2009 on a project to provide skin grafts for burn victims after a massive fire in Nairobi, Kenya. She visited the Solvita Dayton Center after the Midmark visit.
“This is a blood drive here,” Jordan said, in the release. “When I went to Midmark, there was another blood drive. Everywhere I go, you’re driving for blood, but you will need it because it brings hope.”
Corporate blood drives came to a halt during the pandemic. After a two-month interruption at Midmark, Eiting devised a plan to resume employee blood drives at the Versailles Knights of Columbus Hall.
Midmark now hosts monthly employee blood drives on its Versailles campus and sponsors six community blood drives annually at the KOC Hall.
“We had our ups and downs, but we’re back on campus,” Eiting said. “We did the blood drives at the KOC and got some coming again. Once we were back on campus, it was, ‘Oh, I’ll donate again,’ and that made a difference.”
The new Experience Center is now the central location for all employee blood drives. Eiting said participation has been trending upward since implementing a new online communications system. He said with the help of supervisor Jason Hemmelgarn, Midmark’s night shift blood drives have increased by 25%.
“When we started in 2011, we were looking for volunteer opportunities in our community,” Eiting said. “It happened that we had two teammates who had worked where they did blood drives as a way to give back and allowed employees to do it on work time.”
That opportunity is now a Midmark tradition that Eiting says attracts new employees interested in corporate social responsibility.
“Every donation has the potential to save three lives. That’s big, and that’s paying it forward. They don’t have to donate; they’re doing it because they want to do it. They’re coming back to our drives, and it makes my heart feel warm when that happens.” Eiting said.
Make an appointment to donate with Solvita on the Donor Time app, by calling 937-461-3220, or at www.donortime.com.