As we march forward into the New Year we shouldn’t forget to thank sisters Brenda Bierly Reichard and Gail Bierly for adding their special holiday touch to the Dec. 28 Knights of St. John blood drive in Piqua.
The “pre-New Year’s” celebration was a fun theme and the holiday refreshments in the Donor Café were a big hit! It was a true party, complete with homemade cookies, cheese balls, and sausages steaming in barbecue sauce, plus meat and cheese trays, and bags of caramel popcorn.
The blood drive was busy with 45 donors and 34 donations for 97 percent of collection goal, so their generosity was much appreciated. Brenda and Gail were volunteer hosts, chatting with donors and serving the refreshments.
The inspiration came from their mother. “They said they grew up with a mom who always knew how to do things for other people,” said CBC’s Dana Puterbaugh. The cookies came from their mom’s favorite recipe.
The sisters live in Greenville and both are dedicated blood donors. “Brenda happened to be at the OSU blood drive and said ‘Do you ever need anyone to help with blood drives?” said Dana. She suggested the Knights of St. John blood drive and they quickly agreed, happy to go wherever there might be a need. They saw it as an opportunity to honor their mother.
“Our mother was a resident of Brethren Retirement,” said Brenda. “I think around 1998, she found her chair lift remote and lifted herself to the point she fell out. She broke her femur resulting in the need of blood. That was actually the first time I was introduced to donating blood.”
Brenda has 69 lifetime donations and Gail has 107, and both are blood type O positive. Both donated most recently at the Darke County Lions Clubs Teddy Bears & Friends Blood Drive on Dec. 12. It was Brenda’s sixth donation of the year and the fifth of the year for Gail.
“It’s a warm and cozy feeling when I receive the call stating where and when my blood was used,” said Brenda, who is also a kidney donor. “If there’s a need and I can help out, I will!”