Quincy News

Different groups work to establish blood drives

Lauren Santora has her needle removed by Donna Suddeth after donating blood during the Taco ‘bout Donating Blood” Blood Drive with the American Red Cross at the Oakley Lindsay Center on Friday, May. 17, 2019. The blood drive was hosted by Arts Quincy and GREDF. | H-W Photo/Jake Shane
H-W Photo/Jake Shane
By Herald-Whig
Posted: May. 17, 2019 6:10 pm Updated: May. 18, 2019 11:52 am

QUINCY -- Blood drives vary in sizes and locations, which is how the American Red Cross maintains a supply, and finding different groups allows the organization to create new outlets.

Friday's "Taco bout Donating Blood" drive at the Oakley-Lindsay Center was organized by Arts Quincy, the Great River Economic Development Foundation and the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce. Those participating could help themselves to a taco after their donation.

It's the second blood drive the groups have hosted.

"All of our organizations have a stake in making Quincy a better place to live, work and create, so I think it was a sort of natural partnership to say this is another organization doing good work in our area and want to be a part of it," Arts Quincy Executive Director Laura Sievert said.

The American Red Cross announced earlier this week that it has a critical shortage of type O blood across the nation.

The Red Cross has less than a two-day supply of type O blood for emergency rooms, meaning just six units of type O blood are available for every 100,000 people, but at least 14 are needed each day.

Though 7% of the U.S. population has type O negative blood, it can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what hospitals use when there isn't time to determine a patient's blood type.

Sievert said the idea for the organizations to start hosting drives was a way to honor her parents, Cheri and Tracy Atterburg, and friend, Joe Hesseltine, who all died from cancer.

"I think everything can understand that the need for blood touches everything we do," she said. "Besides cancer, there's lots of reasons that people might need that kind of assistance, and we hope it's there whenever they need it."

Jim Whitfield of the Red Cross works with various businesses and groups to set up blood drives in the region. He also has spent time working with area elementary schools for drives.

"If an elementary school kid can go home and get a mom or dad, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, older sister of whoever, they can earn an Olympic-style medal, and they're recognized by the Red Cross as a Pint Size Hero,' " he said.

Last week, a drive at Lincoln-Douglas Elementary School generated 38 units of blood.

Whitfield said there are guidelines to help those interested in setting up a drive.

"The most important thing we give people is called an interest survey," he said. "I tell them to go out and talk their friends and co-workers and anybody you think might be willing to donate at your blood drive."

Anyone interested in planning a drive can contact Whitfield at james.whitfield@redcross.org.

The Quincy Donation Center, 3000 N. 23rd, will host 12 Hours if Giving from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, May 24, to boost supplies

Blood donors can make an appointment by using the Blood Donor smartphone app, visiting redcrossblood.org or by calling 800-RED-CROSS.

Anyone who donates through June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card by email.

Things to Do