St. Peters Catholic Church holding blood drive on July 20

Published 9:00 am Friday, July 14, 2023

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On July 20, St. Peters Catholic Church will be hosting a blood drive with LifeSouth Community Blood Center. The drive will be located in Parish Hall at the church from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Volunteer with the church, Ellen Eisenbarth, said the church is elated to host a blood drive.

“Our pastor, Tim Gadziala, is very involved in our community and knows that blood donated to LifeSouth goes directly to our hospital. Life South has had an exclusive contract with WellStar West Georgia since October of 2012,” Eisenbarth said.

She said the church tries to do blood drives with LifeSouth every four months.

“This is my passion. I worked for WellStar West Georgia Medical Center for over 20 years and was the blood bank supervisor for the last eight years of my time with them. I know how difficult it is, especially during the summer months to get enough blood for the supply. People are busy and since the pandemic donations have been down across the board,” Eisenbarth said.

“If we can get people to come and donate, each donation of blood can be used to help three people. That unit of blood is split into three of its factions, the red cells, the plasma and the platelets, each portion of that can go toward a specific need for a patient. So we are very excited to be doing something that can help a lot of people.”

Melinda Hinds, Community Development Coordinator, said it’s very important to donate blood in the summertime because the season typically makes a dent in the local blood supply.

“The need for blood increases with more people on the road and accidents happen. People forget that blood is used for so many different patients. You’ve got a lot of blood diseases, sickle sale, leukemia, cancer patients in general that need blood products, whether it be whole blood, or if they need platelets for clotting within their blood system,” Hinds said.

“It’s very important that we encourage people to donate on a regular basis because blood is needed every day. We need to be collecting blood each and every day so that we can keep our inventories where they need to be.”

LifeSouth blood donors help patients at our local hospitals.

A decrease in donations over the summer months with the need for all blood types increasing has caused the blood supply to drop to emergency levels. Maintaining a stable blood supply makes sure blood is available when needed for victims of accidents, those having surgery or patients being treated for cancers and other illnesses.

Hinds said donating blood isn’t as simple as people think it is.

“A lot of times when something happens, people rush to say, ‘I’ll go donate blood’ and they don’t understand that when you donate blood that blood cannot be used immediately, it has to go through testing before it can be deemed safe and ready to go to the hospital —which can take 24 to 48 hours,” Hinds said.  “If you donate today, it’s not going to be available for a patient immediately. We always need to be ready and make sure that those products are available.”

As an incentive for donating blood, participants will be able to receive a $20 e-gift card.

“All donors in July and August will receive a $20 e-gift card.

When we register the donor, we make sure that we have a good email address for the donor and then after their donation within the next 24 hours or so they will get an email that will walk them through picking out a card from a particular retail supplier,” Hinds said.

“We’re excited about that because it makes it fun for the donor, but it’s also our way of saying thank you for donating and taking the time out of your day to come in and help us get the blood that we need so that lives can be saved.”