Sunday, December 7, 2014

For The First Time In Years…

Even though I have little recollection of the past couple of months, somehow we were able to pull together a ‘successful’ Red Cross Blood Drive at the lodge yesterday. When I first got involved in the project things went rather smoothly but as the days and weeks passed it was one thing after another pulling me away from making sure everything came together. By the time I woke up yesterday, we had 18 people signed up for the drive with a few expected to walk in the door sometime during the day.

I got to the lodge about 90 minutes before the official start time and attempted to organize things at the sign in table and get the signs out in front of the building to sway in the windy rain. It wasn’t the best day for foot traffic but it was nice being inside and greeting the people as they walked through the door. With everyone in place I began having people sign in and for the first time in years, we had a blood drive happening at the lodge.

We started the morning with 18 people signed up for the drive and by the time the tables were being folded, we had 23 names on our list. I had wanted to see 20 pints donated in our first year and we would have reached that number had everyone been able to donate. However, for various reasons (living abroad, illness, and high pulse rate) there were 7 people who were unable to give.

That would have put us at 16 but there were also two brothers who really dedicated the time to donate and signed up for a double red blood cell donation. The donation time is twice as long as and much more complex than a regular donation. Since they each count as 2 pints, we just fell short of our goal with a total donation of 18 pints. This included a final draining at the end of the day when I was laying on the table for the first time in over a decade.

Could we have done better? Definitely but this is a good start to what we would like to see as an annual event. We were all learning as we went along this year and now that we have at least a little experience, things should only improve from here. I think next year (mark your calendar for the first weekend in October) we should set a minimum of 30 pints. I know I am going to try and do my part by doubling my donation!