Donating blood received a huge boost in popularity during the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.
But it's consistency that blood banks like United Blood Services need. Consistency for a community like Payson means donating four times each year. Payson, Pine and Strawberry volunteers are gearing up for their upcoming drives.
This October, the Payson community blood drive is being sponsored and run by the Zane Grey Kiwanis Club.
Outgoing President Bill Lee and his wife, Kathryn have stepped up as coordinators with the express goal of banking 150 units of blood.
In the state of Arizona, more than 550 units of blood are used every day. In just one car accident, hundreds of pints may be needed.
Mike Rosenthaler, a Mesa teen out on a double date in 1996 required 150 units of blood to stay alive. Today he has a bachelor's degree and is pursuing a career in education.
The miracle that those units were available to save his life is a testament to the everyday people who choose to roll up their sleeves and donate blood. Rosenthaler donates blood every chance he gets.
Volunteers at blood drives each carry their own personal stories and reasons for donating:
People like Audrey Duran whose dad survived open-heart surgery for more than 25 years, in part because family and friends donated the needed blood to see him through the operation.
Duran has been on the calling committee for Payson for several years, donating time and blood. She calls past donors and sets appointments for the upcoming drive.
"I realize how important it is," she said. She and her husband have donated gallons and gallons of blood over the past 25 years.
"Giving something of myself makes me feel really good," Jerry Maurer said. He is the incoming president for the Kiwanis. Maurer has donated a little over 5 gallons he said, and only paused because of his own heart attack.
"When I was told I could not give, I was really disappointed."
But Maurer will be pleased to hear that one year after a heart attack, if your doctor gives written permission, you can donate again. If it has been more than 3 years, you only need a verbal OK.
Donors must be 17 years of age or older and in good health. If you are on medication, bring the names with you to the drive. If you have other questions or concerns, call Bill Lee in Payson at 472-6023
If this year, every Arizona donor gave blood just one more time, blood shortages would cease to exist in our state. Donating blood is safe, it's simple and it saves lives.
You can help end blood shortages by donating in Payson from noon to 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7 at the First Southern Baptist Church, 302 S. Ash, or in Pine Tuesday, Oct. 8 in the Cultural Hall at the Community Center.
Please contact Bill Lee at 472-6023 to schedule an appointment to give blood.
Qualifications to donate
If you are 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds, have not donated in the past 8 weeks, and are not currently taking antibiotics or insulin, United Blood Services welcomes your blood donation.
You may not donate if you:
1. have ever used a needle to take drugs
2. had hepatitis after the age of 11
3. ever had a positive Hepatitis B or C test
4. have AIDS or a positive test for HIV
You cannot get AIDS or any infectious disease by donating blood.
Blood Drive FAQs
These are questions donors often ask
What happens to my blood after I donate?
The blood goes to the blood center laboratory for typing and testing. It is then labeled, stored at the proper temperature, and distributed to area hospitals to help save patients' lives.
What are the chances that my family, friends or I will ever need blood?
It is estimated that 60 percent of the population will need blood or blood components sometime during their lives.
If I, or someone I know, needs blood, what can I do to make sure blood is there when they need it?
As your community blood provider, United Blood Services makes sure blood is available for anyone who needs it, whether or not they donate. We hope that you will give blood, but if you cannot, you can support your community blood program by encouraging others to donate.
Can I donate blood for myself or ask others to donate for me?
Yes, if you have a surgery scheduled and are healthy enough to donate blood, you may be able to donate blood for your own use. This is called an autologous donation. Some people who are planning non-emergency surgery prefer to receive blood donated by relatives, friends or co-workers (directed donations), although there is no evidence these donations are safer than the community blood supply. Contact United Blood Services for more information about these services.
How does United Blood Services collect the blood that patients need?
United Blood Services collects blood from volunteer donors in two ways. For donor convenience, blood drives are conducted on site in communities, businesses, churches, high schools and colleges. Also, recruiters phone donors to invite them to donate at our conveniently located donor centers.
What do I get if I donate?
A dependable blood supply. Your donation helps assure that blood will be there for you, your family, friends and neighbors when it is needed. Since it can take up to two days to test and prepare some blood components, volunteer donors are needed on a continual basis in order to maintain the community blood supply at all times.