Smith Brothers Advertising held its first annual blood drive this Halloween in its Left Field meeting space. Karen Kirk, office manager for the agency, got the idea for the drive from her work as a volunteer EMT. “I had learned that a pint of blood was enough to save three lives. I thought that was amazing,” said Kirk.
The blood collected today was donated to the Central Blood Bank, a non-profit organization which supplies 42 hospitals in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio. While the need for blood has gone down because of more efficient modern surgical techniques, donations are also down. “Only about 37% of the population nationally are able to give blood,” said Sherri Harrison, Regional Director for the Central Blood Bank. “And only 5% of the population actually donates.”
The problem is particularly acute in Western Pennsylvania with the number of nationally renowned hospitals located in this region. “People come from all over the world to be treated here,” said Harrison.
During the blood drive Smith Brothers Advertising was joined by Think Through Math, their residents on the second floor of the building. The total collected was 22 units of blood. “That supports life for 75 area patients,” said Terri Ward, Team Account Manager for the Central Blood Bank. “But this number does not even reflect the great turnout because there were 8 people that were deferred for various reasons,” said Ward. This is in keeping with the typically high number of people who cannot donate blood for various reasons.
Adam Wilson, an SBA art director/digital designer was one of those able to donate. “I hadn’t given in a long-time,” said Wilson. “It seemed like a good thing. And there were bagels.”
If you have interest in starting your own blood drive in the Pittsburgh area, please contact Terri Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 412-209-7076. For more information on the Central Oregon Blood Bank, please visit centralbloodbank.org. Outside the Pittsburgh area? Visit redcrossblood.org to learn more.