UNION — Did you know there’s a way you can save lives, reward your favorite law enforcement agency, and get a gift card in the process?
There certainly is, it’s called the “Restoring Carolina Blood Drive” and it’s being held this Friday from 11 a.m-4 p.m. at the Union County Department of Juvenile Justice office at 200 South Mountain Street in downtown Union.
DJJ Probation Officer Whitney Emory said that Restoring Carolina is an event sponsored by DJJ offices in each of South Carolina’s 46 counties. Emory said that each DJJ office gets to choose what their event will be and so this year her office is sponsoring a blood drive. She said the blood drive is in keeping with the spirit of Restoring Carolina which seeks to get the DJJ more involved with the community by doing something that will benefit the community.
“We try to do something every year and I’m in charge of it this year and so I thought it would be interesting to do a blood drive,” Emory said Monday. “We do it to try and give back to the community, every office tries to do multiple events. We’re trying to engage with the community more and show what DJJ does and to help out.”
Help is the operative word for the blood drive the DJJ is sponsoring because each pint of blood donated can literally save lives.
While the DJJ office is sponsoring the blood drive, it will actually be conducted by “The Blood Connection,” which is described by its website (thebloodconnection.org) as largest independently managed, non-profit community blood center in the region.”
The website states that “someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and one in ten patients entering a hospital will need blood. Over 500 people need to donate every day to meet the daily needs of the hospitals we serve and be prepared for emergencies. In order to collect the units needed, The Blood Connection must screen between 550-600 people a day for blood, platelet, plasma and double red cell units. Blood is good for only 42 days, so donors are needed every day to ensure a stable blood supply.”
To ensure that stable blood supply — and the saving of lives made possible by that supply — The Blood Connection relies on the support it receives from the community.
This is spelled out in a letter on the website from Delisa K. English, President and CEO of The Blood Connection, who writes that “more than 4.5 million lives are saved each year by a single, selfless act — donating blood. In fact, just one pint of blood can help save up to three lives. Every minute of every day, someone will need blood. Because of your support, The Blood Connection is able to make vital connections that save lives in our communities.”
Rewarding Law Enforcement
In addition to saving lives, Friday’s blood drive will also feature “Heroes Behind The Badges,” which Emory described as a “friendly rivalry” between the Union County Sheriff’s Office and the Union Public Safety Department to help encourage donations.
“People can come in and say ‘I want to donate in honor of the Sheriff’s Office’ or ‘I want to donate in honor of the Public Safety Department,” Emory said. “Each time someone donates in honor of either the Sheriff’s Office or the Public Safety Department, that agency will get a point. At the end of the blood drive, I’ll tally the results and the winning agency will get a prize.”
Besides knowing they are helping to save three lives and the satisfaction of competing to reward their favorite law enforcement agency, donors will receive a couple of material rewards as well.
“All donors will get a ten dollar Walmart gift card and a t-shirt,” Emory said.
Emory said persons who don’t want to wait in line to donate blood can call ahead and reserve time during the blood drive to donate blood. She said that a number of slots during that time have already been reserved.
“We have times avaiable and you can call and reserve one to give blood if you don’t want to stand in line,” Emory said. “We already have about fifteen donors and they (The Blood Connection) want thirty.”
For more information about Friday’s Restoring Carolina Blood Drive and/or to reserve a time to donate blood, call 864-429-1640.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.