GETTING READY

GETTING READY: Waverly Kiwanis Member Joyce Weeks relaxes while Nebraska Community Blood Bank Phlebotomist Abby Emanuel prepares hera arm for a blood donation. The mobile blood drive was in town on Saturday morning, thanks to promotion from the Waverly Kiwanis. (Staff Photo by Lisa Brichacek)

WAVERLY – January is National Blood Donor Month and a community service organization in Waverly helped to get the month off to a good start.

The Waverly Kiwanis sponsored a stop Saturday morning by the Nebraska Community Blood Bank.

Club Secretary Calvin Weeks said the group has helped promote the Blood Bank and also helped with blood drives at the school before. The group wanted to be involved again.

“It’s not a major type project for us, but it’s community service and that’s what Kiwanis does,” he said.

Several club members have been regular blood donors over the years.

“So, that’s another connection to it,” Weeks added.

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank bus rolled into the parking lot of Trackside Grill Saturday before 9 a.m. and staff spend the rest of the morning collecting blood donations from area residents.

Weeks said some Kiwanis club members gave blood that morning, but a lot of their work was done in advance. The club was tasked with helping to promote the event by putting up flyers and letting the community know it was going on.

It is something members can do with a minimal amount of time, but still have a have a big impact on the community.

Nebraska Community Blood Bank relies on nearly 1,000 donors each week to step up and donate in order to meet the demand of nearly 20 hospital and medical facilities.

According to the American Red Cross, the critical role of blood and platelet donors has been celebrated each January for nearly 50 years during National Blood Donor Month, which coincides with one of the most difficult times to maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients. Busy holiday schedules, extreme winter weather and seasonal illnesses often impact donor turnout this time of year.

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank also recognized the need for donors this time of year. Those who came Saturday morning got a voucher for a free coffee from Dunkin’. T-shirts were also available.

T-shirts are only available while supplies last, but Dinkin’ has partnered up for the vouchers all month long.

The American Cross also made T-Shirts available to their donors in late December. The Red Cross has a blood donation opportunity coming up later this month in Eagle. Staff will be set up at elementary school from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The Nebraska Community Blood Bank has more opportunities to donate as well. For more information, visit https://www.ncbb.org/donate-blood.

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