News | Feb. 9, 2018

First blood drive gets 2018 off to a good start

By Tim Hoyle DLA Disposition Services

While the initial number seems low, Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center employees rallied to meet the need for donations at the Feb. 7 blood drive.

Occupational Health Nurse Sharon Butters, a Defense Logistics Agency employee, helped coordinate the drive and said she was proud of those who joined her in donating. Originally, there were 60 appointments, but after Butters sent out an announcement about the critical need for blood, employees rallied to the challenge to raise the number of donors signing in at the event to 85, including one first time donor. 

“With the challenge of the weather and illness, we had more than I thought we would get,” Butters said.  “I talked to one person whom I know had been off work and asked if they were back.  They said … they came in just to donate.”

Colds and other factors kept some who came from donating, but 75 pints were still collected. After the event, Butters received thanks from Loretta McCarthy with the American Red Cross’ Great Lakes Blood Services Region who noted the number of people who will benefit goes beyond the number of pints.

“On behalf of the American Red Cross and the 225 people who may now receive plasma, platelets or red blood cells because of your program at the Federal Center please accept and share our sincere gratitude and appreciation with everyone who supported this lifesaving event,” McCarthy said.

The donations did end up being a few pints higher than the last event for 2017 in December. Federal Center donors donated 70 pints of blood at the Dec. 6, 2017 drive. It was the sixth one for 2017 and brought the total to 477 pints, which was four more units than 2016. After the December event, Medical Technical Ann Chisolm added that Health Unit employees are “really glad to support the Red Cross locally in bringing lifesaving blood where it’s needed.” Butters also said having a drive where she works has made it easier for her to donate on a regular basis. She also enjoys the feedback she gets after a donation.

“When I get an email from the Red Cross telling me that my blood was used for a person in New Jersey, it makes me feel like I have helped someone, and that is a really good feeling,” Butters said.

Butters has praised the center’s many regular donors as people who “are loyal and they respond” when they hear there is a need. After the December drive, the center’s employees had given enough during 2017 to once again lead donations on the job in Calhoun County.

With the first 75 units in the bank, employees only need to contribute another 403 units over the rest of 2018 to beat their total from last year. Members of DLA Disposition Services are among the many DLA employees who comprise the bulk of the workforce at the Federal Center.