Please, come and support blood needs right here in our beloved Okeechobee.
Most of you have a reason for giving blood, but when asked “Why”?, the most common answer is “Because it’s the right thing to do.” Yes, it is the right thing to do, in fact, it is my passion. For six weeks I saw my husband fight to live, ultimately receiving a total of 42 units of blood. To thank those who helped him fight, I continue to donate blood every two months and also lead The Okeechobee Blood Roundup.
In the past 15 years, The Roundup, has worked with One Blood in drawing blood to help the sick in Okeechobee as well as throughout Florida. The Roundup has, through YOUR efforts, in a total of only 30 days – just two days each year - gathered 5,814 units of blood, potentially saving as many as 16,000 lives. And you can donate again Jan. 30 as you help me celebrate my 85th birthday by helping me collect 85 units of blood.
When asked how blood donations are ‘doing’, Paul Caruso, Donor Recruitment Manager at Lake Park’s One Blood office, said, “This has been 10 continuous months that we’ve watched blood donations in our Treasure Coast area drop by at least 20%. Okeechobee’s Walmart is the only Walmart in the area we serve, which is still allowing us to hold drives on their property; seven Walmart’s have denied us collecting at their store. We thank the people who are still donating, especially those donors in Okeechobee.”
This, my friends, is why I am asking you to donate again. If you were at the 2020 Blood Roundup in November, you are now eligible to donate red cells or whole blood. If you have donated since then, you WILL still be eligible to donate platelets. You will be able, without cost, to learn your status on COVID antibodies and you’ll be able to save lives right here in Okeechobee.
I ask you to make an appointment which helps the drive go smoother and faster. Go online to OneBlood.org, click on “donate” and follow the prompts. Look for the drive scheduled in Okeechobee on Saturday, Jan. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Brahman Theater Parking Lot. If you cannot sign up online, please call 1-888-9DONATE to register.
Of course, masks and social distancing will apply. As in The Roundup, there will be no prizes in our 85 Units for 85 Years Drive, but you will receive a warmed heart knowing you have helped our town. I sincerely hope to see you there.