Blood Giving

Patty Medina, team lead of the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank, draws blood from Jessica Coldsmith at the Beistle Co.’s 4th Annual Community Blood Drive Thursday.

The Beistle Co. partnered with the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank to host its 4th Annual Community Blood Drive Thursday.

Volunteers from the Shippensburg decorations and party goods manufacturer collected 30 units of blood from community members in the five-hour period, exceeding their goal of 25 units.

According to the 2007 Nationwide Blood Collection and Utilization Survey Report, conducted by the Department of Health & Human Services, 4.5 million Americans will need a blood transfusion each year, and 43,000 pints of donated blood are used each day in the U.S. and Canada.

Donors received a free blood donor keychain and a blood donor T-shirt as a way to spread awareness of the importance of donating. While the idea is getting the community involved in giving back, Beistle employees also stepped up to donate blood.

Donors also had the chance to look through the Beistle Co.'s free giveaway room of various holiday themed party décor. There were also various snacks and beverages to enjoy.

“We are very fortunate to be able to host this drive, and help our community in this very meaningful way,” said Stan Allen, communications manager and one of the lead organizers. “One unit of blood can save up to three lives.”

Allen said continuing to donate blood is a way of honoring his father, who at one point was in the hospital in need of a lot of blood.

“There is no substitute for human blood,” Allen said. “There’s no such thing as artificial blood. It can’t be synthesized, and you just can’t reproduce it. If you’re in the hospital, and you need it, it’s gotta come from someone donating it. It’s the only way to get it.”

He noted this blood can be used to help people suffering from different health conditions, like anemia, leukemia, or different types of cancer, as well as in certain scenarios like post-surgery, or post-childbirth.

Greg Zuvich, account executive, has continued to participate in the annual blood drive, following a car accident in which he needed to lean upon the generous contributions of donors.

“If they didn’t have events like this, I probably wouldn’t have made it,” Zuvich said. “I give blood because somebody gave blood to me, and I know that by donating blood, I’m helping several other people.”

Allen noted a statistic from the national report that 37 percent of people are eligible to donate blood, but less than 10 percent of those people actually donate.

“We promote the drive here at the company, it’s part of our culture, and we are very grateful to have the opportunity to be involved with it.”

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