BATAVIA — The Red Cross said Wednesday that it has 28 extra pints of blood thanks to a blood drive set up with the Batavia City School District Community Schools program.
“That included five Power Red donors — five people gave 10 units of blood. Every unit of blood can save up to three people’s lives. Every power red donor touches up to six lives and affects six recipients,” said Catherine Orr, account manager, donor recruitment for the Red Cross Western New York region.
Power Red is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to allow someone to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation while the person’s plasma and platelets are returned.
Orr said Community Schools has been supportive. The Red Cross has had a great collaboration with Julia Rogers, Community Schools coordinator, Orr said.
“The hurricanes, Fiona and Ian, have been such a challenge and we at the Red Cross have been working with those disasters,” Orr said. “A lot of blood products are sent to those places as they’re needed. A lot of blood drives have been canceled along the path of the storm.”
Those who want to donate but are ill, have to get better first.
“You can’t give when you’re sick. We appreciate everybody stepping up to fill those gaps,” Orr said.
Rogers said Community Schools started hosting blood drives during the 2020-21 school year.
“We wanted to encourage more community involvement and with Community Schools being located at Robert Morris, it was a great fit,” she said Wednesday, a day after the drive at Robert Morris on Union Street. “We work in conjunction with Travis Byrnes, BHS (Batavia High School) health teacher, when we schedule them. BHS has held one in association with health classes over many years.”
The blood drives average about 58 units collected each.
“At times like these, (with a) blood shortage and during weather emergencies, we always strive for more,” Rogers said. “We’ll have data later in the week about today’s (Tuesday’s) drive’s numbers. The Red Cross of Western New York had about eight staff here over the course of the full drive.”
Bob Tuites of Batavia was at Robert Morris Tuesday afternoon and Red Cross Donor Technician Latasha Jordan was getting him ready to give blood. Tuites said he donates a couple of times a year.
“I got the correspondence from an email and I signed up,” he said. “I know some who are regular donors. Every four months is when I’m eligible, so I try to do at least two times in a year span.”
Also at Robert Morris to donate was Paula Edenholm-Neumann of Stafford.
“I try and donate between three and four times a year as long as my iron levels are high enough,” she said. “It’s the least I can do.”
Community Schools has three other blood drives scheduled for this year — 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec 29, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 13 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 12.
“One of the events will be a scholarship event, with funds joining with the High School blood drives forming a combined scholarship for a student(s). The other events will be club events which support our Community Closet and various needs for families — like socks, underwear, etc., Rogers said.
The Red Cross has blood drives scheduled for the following dates, times and locations:
n 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at the New York State School for the Blind, 2A Richmond Ave., Batavia;
n 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 4 at the county Department of Social Services building, 5130 E. Main Street Rd., Batavia;
n 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Stafford Fire Department, 6153 Main Rd., Stafford;
n 2 to 7 p.m. Nov. 15 at First United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Rd., Batavia;and
n 1 to 6 p.m. Nov. 17 at St. Maximilian’s, 2707 Angling Rd., East Pembroke.
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