The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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August 24, 2001 Issue
Local News

Go on: Have a pint on me

Diocesan employees' blood drive addresses critical need

By Jeff Kurowski
Compass Assistant Editor

Blood Donors

The Lakeland Chapter of the American Red Cross reported that the following blood donors from the Green Bay Diocese achieved donor levels in recent months:

• Green Bay Diocesan Agencies - James DeWane, six gallons; Sue DeWane, five gallons; Eileen Mach, two gallons.

• Nativity of Our Lord Parish - Ellsworth Koehnke, 19 gallons; James Diermeier, six gallons.

• St. Agnes Parish - Basil Lepak, 12 gallons.

• St. Bernard Parish - Robert Motti, one gallon.

• St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish- Edward Selinsky, 28 gallons; Mark Soquet, eight gallons; Dcn. James Gauthier, seven gallons; Erin Vanden Busch, one gallon.

• Ss. Peter & Paul Parish - Michael Vincent, 22 gallons; Johnana DeKeyser, 19 gallons; Gary Verheyden, five gallons.

The agencies of the Diocese of Green Bay held their first ever on-site blood drive last week and, according to representatives of local blood centers, the timing was perfect.

"During the summer we lose 20 to 25% of our donors," explained Dave Liethen, donor recruitment representative for the American Red Cross. "It is tough to get people to donate in the summer months. There are lots more things to do. People are busy. The amount of blood needed remains the same, but the amount of donors is down."

"It is much more difficult to recruit donors in the summer," agreed Susan Hopp, public relations specialist for The Community Blood Center in Appleton. "It is possible for the need to go up in the summer. People travel more. They are participating in water activities. There may be more accidents."

Sue DeWane, coordinator of the blood drive, said 27 employees donated blood including seven first-time donors. She also coordinates the diocese's One-A-Week Club, which includes 34 employees/members who give regularly with a goal of giving 52 units during the year.

"I hope to have on-site blood drives twice a year," she said. "The response was great. I wanted to recruit some new people. Of the people who gave, 20 are not in our One-A-Week group. I received good backup from the regular group members."

"I always wanted to give, and this was a good opportunity," said Crystal Delwiche, a first-time donor who serves as volunteer coordinator for Resettlement and Immigration Services of the Green Bay Diocese.

The One-A-Week Blood Donor Club program of the Lakeland Chapter (Green Bay area) of the American Red Cross includes 93 different businesses and organizations. Approximately 10 groups are from Catholic parishes in the Green Bay area, said Leithen. As of the end of June, 4,553 donations received in 2001 were from One-A-Week Club donors.

The Badger-Hawkeye Region of the American Red Cross includes areas in Wisconsin and Eastern Iowa. The region serves 100 hospitals and uses 900 units of blood each day.

The Deckner Donor Center in Green Bay will be open on Sunday, Aug. 26, and on Labor Day, Sept. 3.

"It will be only the second time we have ever been open on a Sunday," said Leithen. "We will also be open on Labor Day as a convenience for donors and to help us meet our goals. We need all types of blood."

"There is no substitute for human blood," he continued. "One donation can help save the lives of three people. Each unit of blood is separated into three different components. The components may be used by one person or three different people."

The Community Blood Center serves the hospitals of Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet and Waupaca counties.

"Our goal is 600 pints a week from all our donor centers," said Hopp.

To combat the decreased number of donors in the summer, the Community Blood Center hosts special events to encourage donations.

"In July, we held an outdoor blood drive with a M.A.S.H. theme," said Hopp. "We had military tents and staff was dressed in military uniforms. We try to make it fun and bring attention to the need."

For more information about giving blood or organizing an on-site blood drive, contact the American Red Cross at (920)468-1551 or in the Valley, The Community Blood Center at (800)280-4102.

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1825 Riverside Drive | P.O. Box 23825 | Green Bay, WI 54305-3825
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