January 16, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - A blast of winter weather added a mid-January challenge to Ohio's first Blood Donor Awareness Month, but it didn't stop donors from giving strong support to Community Blood Center's new monthly blood drives in Springfield.

Maiden Lane Church of God kicked-off the new schedule with its first monthly blood drive on Monday, Jan. 14 and First Christian Church of Springfield followed with its first monthly blood drive on Tuesday, Jan. 15.   Together they totaled 123 donors and 107 donations, including 20 platelet and plasma donations.

Both blood drives provided machines for platelet and plasma donations.  CBC is utilizing the first state legislated "Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month" to emphasize its strategic goal in 2019 of identifying and recruiting donors to give platelets and plasma. These blood components are critical for the treatment of trauma, cancer, burn, and organ transplant patients.


Maiden Lane Church of God traditionally sponsored an annual CBC blood drive, but its large auditorium will now host blood drives on the second Monday of every month.  The Jan. 14 blood drive totaled 43 donors and 35 donations.

Wren Clevenger was accustomed to donating platelets at CBC's former Springfield branch, but on Monday began a new routine at Maiden Lane. "I do Mondays," said Wren, who is an office manager in Springfield.   "On Mondays afternoons they have to do without me for a while!"

The pinch of a needle seems natural to platelet donor Jim Lyons, who travels Clarke County as a honeybee Apiary Inspector. "Bee stings don't bother me. They happen about every day I work," said Jim.

Jim first donated as a young man in the Marine Corps.   He went back to donating after raising a large family thanks to his daughter Jodi, who began donating in high school.   "She asked me to go with her," he said. "I started doing platelets. I just asked, 'What do you guys need the most?'"

Ron Henze is a new donor who felt drawn to the Maiden Lane blood drive as a family tradition.   "Inspired, I guess," he said. "My father donated a countless amount of blood. I decided when I retired I would try to do the same."


Neal Mutter coordinates the blood drives at First Christian Church, which traditionally hosted three blood drives per year, supported mostly by church members.  The blood drives in the church gym are now the third Tuesday of every month with more donors from the wider community. The Jan. 15 blood drive grew to 60 donors and 52 donations for 130 percent of collection goal.

"I've had some donors I haven't seen here yet," said Neal said about his regulars, as he served juice and home-baked holiday cookies in the Donor Café. "But I'll let them know about next month!"

A regular donor at First Christian is Latoya Keyes. "I really like getting calls letting me know my blood was used for someone, to save a life," she said. "That means a lot."

First Christian member Vic Gran is a platelet donor who made his 308th lifetime donation at the Jan. 15 blood drive. "I only live a mile from here," Vic said.

Bonnie David and Gayle Borton are church members who donated whole blood Tuesday. Both have donated platelets in the past, and both made up their minds to return to giving platelets now that the option is available every month at the First Christian blood drives.

"I'm going to donate apheresis again because I'm B positive," said Bonnie. "I actually thought about doing it today but the schedule was full."

Blood types A, AB, and B positive are ideal for platelet donations.  Donors can find out more by talking directly to an apheresis specialist at (937) 461-3220.

Marilyn Perkins is a whole blood donor who made her milestone 25th lifetime donation at the First Christian blood drive.

"I didn't start giving blood until I was in my 50's," said Marilyn.  "I was so busy working and having children.   It really touches me to get a phone call saying you saved a life. I'm honored to do it. God gave me blood to help someone. I've got plenty."

The Maiden Lane Church of God monthly blood drives are the second Monday of every month.  The First Christian monthly blood drives take place the third Tuesday of every month.  (January and October are the only months of 2019 when the blood drives take place during the same week). Hours at both blood drives are always 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.