Did you know that someone needs blood every two seconds? According to the Red Cross, one blood donation can help save the lives of three people. Donating blood is an easy and important way to give back to your community! In the current coronavirus pandemic, blood donations are needed now more than ever as medical facilities are facing an urgent shortage. All those who are healthy and able should consider donating at this critical time.
Garco Construction has been holding office blood drives since 2012 (eight years!) and in that time our team has provided 412 successful donations and collected 467 units of blood – which has had the ability to impact 1,407 lives.
We’re proud of the community-minded and giving spirit our staff displays. Office Manager Kathy Webley (pictured right) says, “I donate blood because I want there to be a good supply in our community. I think about the fact if something were to happen to someone in my family … I’d be devastated if there wasn’t enough to help them. I don’t want that to happen to someone else either. I want to do my part to make sure we have a healthy supply.”
Our blood drives are coordinated and collected by Vitalant, which serves more than 20 Inland Northwest medical facilities. No matter your blood type, donations are important. However, people with O negative type blood are universal donors and their blood can be given to people of all blood types. In fact, type O negative blood is often used in emergencies before the patient’s blood type is known, and with newborns who need blood. Fun fact: the average adult has 10 pints of blood in their body, accounting for about 10% of their body weight.
There are a few general things to remember for donating blood (a full list is available from Vitalant):
- Be in general good health, including free of any cold or flu virus symptoms
- In Washington state, tattoos are acceptable if the tattoo was applied in a state-regulated shop, using sterile needles and single-use ink, within in the last 12 months
- Ear/body piercing/branding is acceptable if the piercing or branding was performed using single-use equipment (otherwise, you’ll need to wait 12 months before donating)
- Wait one day following the completion of last dose of antibiotics
Garco Project Administrator Deborah Seagle shares, “I started donating blood almost 30 years ago when I lived in my hometown of Las Vegas and I continued to do so when I relocated here to the Inland Northwest. It’s important to me to give back to my community and help others. This has always been an easy and fulfilling way for me to do that.”
It can be hard to fully grasp the life-saving benefits since people don’t always know how or when their blood gets used, which is why Vitalant loves being able to share stories from those who receive donations like Maureen in the video above or like Grace Ndayizeye (pictured below) who battles sickle cell anemia. Grace currently relies on eight units of blood transfused every three- four weeks. These transfusions allow her to regularly attend school – something she was previously unable to do because of immense pain from the disease.
Over time, Grace has received more than 50 transfusions or 400 units of blood. She will continue to require these transfusions until she is able to find a bone marrow donor and receive a successful transplant. Despite everything she faces, Grace is a positive person and passionate about improving the lives of those fighting blood diseases. She actively works to help recruit blood donors and tells her friends, family and classmates about the importance of donating blood and registering to donate bone marrow. This April she is even hosting a birthday blood drive.
Garco President Clancy Welsh notes, “We are proud of the commitment our employees have made over the years in supporting Vitalant. I personally enjoy receiving a text notifying me that my donation has been utilized to help another. In the turbulent times that we are currently facing, this is just one way our team at Garco can support our community.”
We encourage all our staff who are healthy and able to donate to consider participating in our next blood drive! Your donation matters.
Garco Construction Blood Drive
Monday, March 23 7:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. at the Garco Office
We are hoping for 20 life-saving donors to participate
(Staff, please contact Joy to find out how to sign up if you have not already. We also welcome friends or family to come participate in our blood drive as well!)