Donating blood is an Okeechobee affair

Posted 8/27/21

With so much “bad news” around today, please allow me to give you some good news. A huge project is currently in the works which...

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Donating blood is an Okeechobee affair

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With so much “bad news” around today, please allow me to give you some good news. A huge project is currently in the works which will be effective in saving many lives.

That project is the 16th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup. Your town of Okeechobee surprised the folks at One Blood, last November, when the Roundup volunteers determined to hold The Roundup despite Covid. The 192 units which were drawn affected and/or saved as many as 550 lives. Without it, some Okeechobee residents would, perhaps, not be with us today.

We are alerting you to this amazing program which, over the past 15 Roundups – only two days a year - has drawn 5,777units of blood – red cells, platelets and plasma. Separated into these three components means you donors may have helped as many as 17,000 recipients.

What makes collecting blood so essential?

There is no substitute for human blood. Drawing and storing blood means that when YOU need it, it must be on the shelf. In Okeechobee, Raulerson Hospital, like other places in need, requisitions blood from One Blood to have it on hand for expected surgeries while also maintaining a certain minimum need. All blood products have a limited lifespan.

It is an advantage to your health to be a blood donor. In fact, any man who will donate blood at least three times a year, cuts his risk of heart attack by 60%. Frequently, a first-time donor has learned he or she has a condition or a need they would not have known about until they were informed of it following testing of their donated blood. All blood undergoes 14 different safety tests to guarantee its use for transfusion.

We are seeking your help, not just to donate blood, but to become a partner in helping keep The Blood Roundup a vital part of Okeechobee’s health.

We always need volunteers to do the many jobs, from September through The Roundup. We need large and small businesses to offer a gift certificate or a prize which we use as incentives to reward and draw more donors. The majority of donors give ‘because it’s the right thing to do’, but we still like to reward them.

We need people who have had a transfusion to let us tell that story in the newspaper. When your story is printed, someone down the street from you may decide to become a donor when they realize their blood donation may have helped you.

We need you, when you are cleaning house, to save items in good condition which could become a prize – something you tucked away and never used. (My nephew gave me a suitcase, new and never used, which now will become a prize).

We need restaurants to provide food with which we feed the 70+ One Blood personnel and the 40 to 50+ Roundup volunteers who work, continuously, from 7:00am to 7:30pm each of the Roundup’s two full days. And that does not include the work they are doing between now and The Roundup.

No matter where you live around Lake O, we invite you to join us at The Okeechobee Blood Roundup, at the Freshman Campus Auditorium, Nov. 20, 21. If you don’t know your blood type, this is a wonderful way to learn it, and at no cost. Think of the lives you can save.

Putting on this drive is a labor of love; no one receives pay. Roundup volunteers are already at work and will remain so until The 2021 Blood Roundup is complete. Please welcome them at your business or call Roundup Chairman, Raye Deusinger at 863-467-2557.

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