Greater Wichita YMCA joins with Red Cross in blood donation drive

04/27/2014 12:30 PM

04/27/2014 12:31 PM

It is being called “The Big Drop Blood Drive.”

For the second consecutive year, the Greater Wichita YMCA is working with the American Red Cross Central Plains Blood Services Region to collect more than 850 pints of blood from Friday through May 19.

It is the first of several partnerships the YMCA hopes to build in the coming years and is part of the YMCA’s Vision 2020 goal to inspire its members to give back to the community, said Shelly Conrady, the Greater Wichita YMCA’s vice president of marketing and communications. The goal is to contribute more than one million hours of community service per year.

“Right now, this (Red Cross) is our largest effort,” Conrady said. “We are doing some smaller efforts and hope to be launching part of a national project soon.”

The blood drive is open to both YMCA members and the general public.

According to a news release issued by the YMCA and American Red Cross, each pint of blood helps up to three patients, so 2,550 lives could be affected if the drive makes its goal.

Jan Hale, program manager at the American Red Cross, said the timing of the blood drive is critical.

“As we move into summer, we lose a lot of our high school- and college-age donors,” Hale said. “They represent 20 percent of our donations.

“This partnership with the Y helps us be prepared and build our blood supply as we go into the summer.”

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