ANNA — Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish will continue the tradition of boosting the area blood supply during the critical holiday period by hosting the annual Knights of Columbus holiday blood drive, Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in the Parish Activity Center, 9377 State Route 119, Anna.
Everyone who registers to donate will receive Community Blood Center’s gift of colorful holiday socks. Schedule an appointment online at www.DonorTime.com or call 1-800-388-GIVE.
It’s a tradition at Sacred Heart to make the holiday blood drive festive with Christmas music, hot Sloppy Joe sandwiches and vegetable soup and home-baked holiday cookies in the Donor Café.
“It’s as small a town as you’re going to get doing a blood draw,” said Tom Albers, who has served as blood drive coordinator for 18 years. “It’s a good community. We don’t have 200 families in McCartyville and we get 200 people to show up for the blood draw. It’s part of their Christmas.”
Tom said this will be his final year as blood drive coordinator, but he is leaving the job in the good hands of fellow donor David Poeppelman. “He’ll work with us this year and next year he’s on his own,” said Tom.
Another special volunteer this year will be Kelly Schmitmeyer. She was set to make her 44th lifetime donation at last year’s Sacred Heart blood drive when she suffered a pulmonary embolism that morning that nearly claimed her life.
She received eight blood and platelet transfusions and was resuscitated several times. Kelly can no longer donate but her entire family continues to donate in her honor. “I’m just grateful that it was there when I needed it,” she said. “It’s important for people to know for every donation they give, that could save several lives.”
This holiday season will be especially challenging for maintaining the area blood supply. If you must miss an appointment to donate please reschedule as soon as you can.
The Sacred Heart blood drive also gives donors the opportunity to donate platelets and plasma. Platelets are the cells that control bleeding while plasma is the fluid that maintains blood pressure. Both are vital for the treatment of cancer, trauma, organ transplant, and burn patients. New platelet donors are in high demand, especially those with blood types A, AB, or B positive. Find out more at www.GivingBlood.org or talk to an apheresis specialist at 937-461-3220.