You might have thought there were celebrities at two local Dairy Queens, Saturday, March 23, as the places were hopping from 9 a.m. - 3p.m. Did you spy the two big Blood Mobile coaches parked in each parking lot?The celebrities included the generous Hamid Chaudhry, owner and proprietor of both locations who is known in the community for his giving and caring. His gift of a free ice cream cake for every pint donated really sweetened the deal.
“I cover a large geography. I am well-known in the area. Visiting, colleges, schools, organizations, churches, and business to market blood drives keeps me busy and always in the public eye,” said Lois Gassert, the Donor Resources Representative for western Berks County.
She explained the process. There is a lot of preregistration, schedules are set up and checked into the computers. Many people meander in from hearing the public service announcements on Y102, seeing signs, or through word of mouth.
As a blood donor, the phlebotomists are happy to see you, and after a series of questions, an iron test, blood pressure and temperature check the donor is ready to share. They check your arms to spot the best vein and after a slight sting, the needle is in and you are on the way to saving lives.
You relax in the recliner with a drink and, after five to 10 minutes, the pint bag is full. More resting, then you are off for more drinks and cookies! The entire process takes about 45 minutes from registration to finish. “There are some restrictions on donating, the obvious like sickness, and being on antibiotics or blood thinners. If you want more detailed information please visit our websitegiveapint.org,”Gassertsaid.
Two Mobile Unit Assistants, Erric Adams and Dean Scott, were kept busy registering the people inside in an orderly manner, then sending them on their way to the Miller-Keystone Bloodmobiles parked outside.The blood mobile was donated from the family of a local girl, Angela Hohl, who Miller Keystone tried to help. Hola was losing blood too quickly to replace it and she passed away. This family has enabled many donors and blood drives. The Angela Hohl Miller-Keystone Blood Center coach was designed to be used with group of 25 - 60 donors who do not have the space for a blood drive within their facility. There are four donation beds and two screening rooms on the coach.
For Miller-Keystone the results make the day worthwhile. Dairy Queen Kenhorst had 63 registeredand collected 60 units. The Dairy Queen Exeter had 55 registered donors and collected 43 units.
“Hamid gave out over 100 coupons for ice cream cakes to donors on Saturday,” Adams said with a big grin. .
Miller-Keystone Blood Center is an independent, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) community organization that serves as the only blood provider to your community hospitals in Berks, Chester, Montgomery and Schuylkill Counties, and work every day for donations.
Some donors are on an 8 week schedule. Gassert said that no one has to pay for blood or to replace blood. All the donations after being processed through their labs are donated to the hospitals.
“If there is any family member or loved one that needs blood please contact me at 610-926-6060 ext. 1120 or email firstname.lastname@example.org I am here to serve the community. If you want to set up a blood drive and I can make that happen,” Gassert emphatically said
Their slogan is: Your donation, Your community, Your blood center.
Give a Pint –Save a Life!
The rewards are many for you as a donor, Blood, plasma and platelets are always needed to save lives. Miller –Keystone Blood Center operates in the most professional and safe manner. New changes are coming to make the entire process more effective and comfortable.
The organization is constantly offering raffles, trips, and prizes which can make you a winner, too.