RUSSIA, Ohio – When the “Blood Drive Today” sign goes up in front of St. Remy’s Hall it means “the Russians are coming” to donate. But it takes more than this village to raise a record number of donors at the Russia blood drive.
St. Remy Catholic Church blood drives in April and August are traditionally among the largest blood drives in Shelby County, and support comes from near and far. The Aug. 21 blood drive in St. Remy’s Hall totaled 186 donors who gave 174 whole blood and double-red blood cell donations, plus 10 platelet and plasma donations, for 109 percent of collection goal.
St. Remy’s received the Community Blood Center “Platinum Award” for achieving all collection goals in 2017, and is likely to repeat that honor in 2018.
“When you come here you see how good-hearted people are,” said Betty York, who serves as co-coordinator of the St. Remy’s blood drives with her husband Carl. “It’s nice to see people all coming together for a common good.”
Apheresis machines for platelet, plasma and double red blood cell donations have been a standard at St. Remy’s blood drives. “It’s wherever they are,” said double red donor Joe Clark. “They ask me and I make an appointment.”
The St. Remy’s Knights of Columbus sponsor the blood drive and fund the barbecue pork and chicken sandwiches served to donors. It takes the help of approximately 40 volunteer bakers to provide all the homemade cookies in the Donor Café.
Volunteer Jake Guillozet says the refreshments are part of St. Remy’s reputation. “The food is really homemade, it’s excellent, he said. “The cookies are top of the line – you can’t hardly beat them. There is such a variety.”
“The people that come in, they all work together. Also, the people donating cookies and helping out,” said Betty as she took time out from her coordinator duties to make her 58th lifetime donation.
“It’s because when you give you don’t know where it’s going to, so it helps everybody and anybody. You have no say so. You give from the heart and you just hope the right people get it.”