RICHMOND, Indiana – Christmas trees decked the halls at Reid Health Friday, Nov. 20 but many staff members and visitors gave hardly a glance as they hurried by because a different holiday greeting was beckoning. The annual Warm Glow Day Blood Drive in Lingle Hall truly means the holidays have arrived at the hospital.
It’s been a tradition for the Warm Glow Candle Company in Centerville to donate candles to Community Blood Center as a donor gift during Thanksgiving week. The Warm Glow Day blood drive moved to Reid Health last December. With Friday’s blood drive anticipating Thanksgiving week, the aroma of Warm Glow was once again a reminder that the holidays are here, and it’s a perfect time to donate.
“I wanted to come. This something that enticed me today!” said Dianna Glunt from Fountain City, who made her 81st lifetime donation. “Plus, I’ve never been to Reid and I wanted to try it.”
Reid Health continues to be an important partner with CBC, hosting six blood drives a year. The schedule makes it easy for hospital staff and visitors to donate every two months. Since last year, Reid Health blood drives have grown to accommodate more donors. “Why not?” said Chuck McGill, laboratory director at Reid Health and long-time blood drive coordinator. “As long as we have the room for it, and we have the room.”
Support for Friday’s Warm Glow Day Blood drive jumped more than 20 percent compared to a year ago, with 149 donors and 123 donations for 117 percent of the collection goal.
Reid staff member Matt Fulton made his milestone 10th donation Friday. He started donating at Reid a couple of years ago and learned his blood type is O-negative, making him a universal donor. “It’s great getting that phone call saying your blood helped save a life,” he said. “Every time I donate I get that call. That’s what is driving me to do it. The candles are nice, but that’s not the reason I’m here.”
Patient transporter Jess Richie was pleasantly surprised to get a candle when he made his 5th lifetime donation. “It’s just helping out,” he said. “There is so much need. You hate to not donate because there may not be enough.”
Rows of Warm Glows in multiple colors filled a table in the Donor Café area. Donors migrated to the table to circle, bob, and sniff each candle like reindeer testing their Rudolph noses. Karen Seal, a night shift nurse in the Acute Rehabilitation Unit, made her 32nd donation and chose a Pomegranate candle. “It smells really good, and it’s not a food smell!” she said. “Like snickerdoodle. I like to eat snickerdoodles!”
Reid physical therapy assistant Connie Minor chose a red-orange Cranberry Chutney candle after making her 60th lifetime donation. “I wanted a white one,” she said, “but this one smelled good!”
Erika Lemar is a student nurse who finished her training session in time to make her 10th lifetime donation, and pick out a Honeyberry candle. “I smelled them all – they were all very good – this was the best for me!” she said. “I love Warm Glow. It’s a wonderful surprise because I’ve always wanted a Warm Glow Candle. It’s like Christmas Day right now for me!”