WEST CHESTER, Ohio – Community comes first on Thanksgiving eve at MidPointe Library West Chester. Wednesday, Nov. 22 mark the two-year anniversary of Community Blood Center’s monthly blood drive partnership at MidPointe. For the third consecutive Thanksgiving eve blood donors put aside holiday plans to give in the name of community.
The Community Room at MidPointe has been the home of the monthly blood drive since Thanksgiving Eve 2015. MidPointe faithfully hosts the blood drive on the fourth Wednesday of every month, always from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
If the first year of blood drives MidPointe was a best seller, than the second year was a chart-topping sequel. The 12 blood drives since last November totaled 696 donors and 611 donations, a five and a half percent increase over the first year.
The monthly average improved to 58 donors and 51 donations per blood drive, averaging more than 107 percent of goal and qualifying for CBC’s top honor, the Platinum LifeSaving Ambassadors Club award.
“It’s nice to see it not only successful, but growing,” said MidPointe Librarian Martha Matthews, who serves as the blood drive coordinator. “It’s been beneficial to all, and the community wins. We have donors who didn’t know about the library, and we have library users who see the signs for the blood drive, walk-in and donate.”
MidPointe’s considers the blood drive in keeping with its goal to be a community center. Since taking on the monthly blood drive MidPointe has added U.S. passport application service, expanded educational programs that include microscopes and lab equipment, and expanded reading outreach programs to area daycares.
Last month CBC began using apheresis machines at the blood drive to answer an ongoing need for plasma donations. Ted Blair from Liberty Township gave plasma for his 103rd lifetime donation. “I remembering donating for the first time in Hamilton when a friend of mine’s daughter had open-heart surgery,” he said. “I come every eight weeks.”
“We’re going to my daughter’s home in Newport, Kentucky for Thanksgiving,” said Ken Beiser from Liberty Township, who gave plasma for his 86th lifetime donation. “I love getting the calls saying they used your blood to help someone,” he said. “It doesn’t happen every time, but it’s always great to get that call.”
“I love this library. I come here often,” said Fairfield Township donor Mary Nicley. “It’s nice. I’m over here all the time anyway. It’s easy and convenient.”
Outside the library, traffic was swelling with holiday travelers and last-minute shoppers. Mary’s family will be heading to Indianapolis for Thanksgiving, but taking the time to donate was a priority.
“It’s not that big a deal,” she said. “I got all my errands done early because I had this. I’ve had friends with cancer who needed blood. I learned a lot. It’s good to give back if you can.”