Needed: Local sponsor for blood drives

Louise Oleson, Editor

United Blood Services is coming to Devils Lake on March 8 and 9 for another of its regular two-day blood drives and their greatest need this time is not necessarily donors, but a local sponsoring organization.

“It could be a service club or organization, like the Lions Club or American Legion, but we need a group from Devils Lake to step up and take this on,” said Richard Larcombe from UBS.

“It’s not a terribly big committment, but it does take a few people to make sure the event goes well,” he added.

What is needed?

First of all, the group or organization should have a local telephone number where donors can call to set up appointments to donate, someone to coordinate the schedule.

As the date of the event nears, an evening, maybe over pizza or dessert, Larcombe says where two or three people divide up the list of local donors and call them to encourage them to schedule a time to donate blood.

About three weeks before the drive, posters and fliers should be placed around town in high-traffic areas like grocery stores and convenience stores. This could be handled by one or two people, too.

Then, the press release goes out to the newspaper and other media outlets on the week before the drive.

The days of the drive, again, one or two people need to be available at the Armory. In Devils Lake the first day is from noon to 6 p.m. and the second day is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.  “They could do it in shifts, or however they want to,” Larcombe said.

“Just as long as someone is here to take care of the traffic flow.”

UBS, located in Minot, N.D., supplies all the promotional materials, posters, news releases and even a little bit of training called “Blood Drive 101.” They bring all the technicians and equipment needed for the blood drive. According to Larcombe for every one person who donates, they are able to save at least two peoples’ lives.

“It is a vital service to the community!

“The blood drive we just had in Devils Lake was the best one we’d had in a decade there,” Larcombe said.

“Normally we deal with about 40 donors a day for the two-day drives in Devils Lake, but during the most recent one there were 98 people who gave blood,” he explained.

Six times each year United Blood Services comes to Devils Lake for a blood drive. The Lake Region has approximately 250 regular donors that UBS relies upon.

The January blood drive is run by the Knights of Columbus. May’s is sponsored by the United Methodist Church. September’s is run by the VFW and November’s is sponsored by St. Olaf’s Lutheran Church.

The blood drives planned in Devils Lake for March and July both need local sponsoring organizations.

If your organization is interested in helping the community with this vital service, or you have any further questions contact Larcombe at 1-800-863-9079.