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Record breaking number of donors at Thanksgiving blood drive in Amarillo

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 8:12 AM CST
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - The Coffee Memorial Blood Center in Amarillo had a record breaking number of blood donors during their Pre-Thanksgiving Extravaganza blood drive yesterday.

The previous record was 336 donations, and this year they had 404 donations.

Despite the record breaking success, the blood center said there is still a need for more blood.

This year, the center has lost many donors as more people are working from home, so there are less mobile blood drives happening at offices around the area.

The Center says getting more blood right now is important to sustain supply needs through the holidays.

During this time of year, there’s typically a lot more blood that’s used as hospital usage goes up due to a lot more people traveling.

More travel often results in more accidents, which makes the need for blood greater during the holiday season.

Plus, lot of people schedule elective surgeries during the holidays, and sometimes they need blood.

“Our blood supply is actually stable right now, which is a really good thing, but that can change at any moment. We’ve seen it happen before. We’re still pretty low in all of our negatives which is extremely important to have on the shelf,” said Misti Newsom, donor recruitment and events manager, Coffee Memorial Blood Center.

The center depends heavily on students and school districts to donate.

“We really appreciate first time donors, because usually if you can get somebody in here the first time, they get over that fear, then they’ll continue as a donor. So, you can start donating at the age of 16. So, 16 and up can donate. You do need a parent consent form at 16, and those are available at Coffee Memorial,” said Newsom.

It’s important to note, this blood is going right back into the community and helping Texas Panhandle people.

“The Amarillo and surrounding areas have been great. I mean they really have, they really stepped up. We’ve had a lot of local churches that have stepped up to help, we’ve had a lot of our local high schools that have stepped up to help, because we do still have a lot of people working from home. So, we’ve got some lost donors out there, so we ask those donors who used to donate at work that are working at home, to find another place to go and donate or come to the center either way, but we need you,” said Newsom.

There is still time to donate this holiday if you missed Tuesday’s blood drive.

The Center is scheduling extra blood drives around the holiday because of the additional units needed during this time.

Families can donate blood at Westgate Mall this Friday any time before three in the afternoon. The mobile blood drive units will be parked in front of the food court.

On Saturday, November 27th, a mobile blood drive will be at Wolflin Square until four in the afternoon.

Blood Mobiles will be parked in front of Merle Norman.

At all of those blood drives there will be a drawing for a $100 visa gift card.

“So, we just ask everybody just to please come in so that we don’t have that blood emergency that we’ve had this summer. I mean, that was awful to go through. So, it’s just really important to get those numbers in. Blood is good for 42 days and so if we can get people in in the next couple of days, that should at least get us through the Thanksgiving holiday until about Christmas and then we’ll have another big drive to get more on the shelves,” said Newsom.

Click here for more information on future blood drives or to schedule an appointment.

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