More than 50 kind souls donated blood at the First Baptist Church this past Tuesday. Remarkable contribution in tough times.

Pine-Strawberry Blood Drive Coordinator Sheri Earp was thrilled with the community response. She has been a blood drive coordinator for 50 years.

In 1970, Earp started her career as a medical technologist at Southside District Hospital in the Valley (It eventually became Desert Samaritan). During a routine surgery, a 20-year-old woman passed away.

“We did not have the blood for her,” said Earp. She started a blood drive at the hospital and has continued for 50 years, spearheading the P-S Blood Drive since 2005.

Social distancing and extra hygiene procedures have become normal, said Cynthia Prado, phlebotomist Tech II. Other than folks in masks, it was a normal blood drive and social event.

“O negative is very popular,” chuckled local resident Albert Hunt. A regular donor, he understands that his blood donation is universal, which means they can use it for any person, and that is why he gives regularly.

Hunt donates on the power red machine, which takes longer, but provides two units of red blood cells that are hospital ready in three days, said Prado.

The standard donor provides one unit of blood, which is separated at the lab into red blood cells, platelets and plasma, all of which are used in different ways. From trauma cases to cancer and burn victims, each donation can be used to benefit another human in that blood type, explained Prado. These donations can be ready to use in up to 10 days.

The power red machine does the actual separation process, while gathering two units of the red blood cells, providing a universal donor to hospital trauma units faster, she said.

Besides the normal, more routine things, the lab is testing blood donations for COVID antibodies. If a donor has antibodies, it will show up on the donor profile provided to them online about two weeks after the donation, Prado said. Any donor with antibodies will be invited to donate plasma to provide therapies for those recovering from the coronavirus in the future, she added.

Thank you to the Pine-Strawberry Community for their dedicated service on behalf of patients in need. The impact your donation will make in the lives of others is significant.

Get your flu shot here

A Community Flu Clinic will be held from 11 a.m. to noon, Monday, Nov. 16 at the Pine-Strawberry Elementary School. Everyone ages 6 months to seniors is invited to get a flu shot. If you have an insurance card, bring that with you. If not covered by insurance, the shot is $25. Those over 65 will receive the high dose flu shot for $50. If you have questions, contact the Gila County Health Department at 928-474-7180.

Pine-Strawberry Food Bank annual turkey drive

Can you buy an extra turkey this month? If you can, the P-S Food Bank will be ever so grateful. They have a freezer to accept donations at the Ponderosa Market at Hardscrabble and Highway 87 in Pine. Each holiday, the food bank not only provides monthly groceries to families in need, they also provide a holiday dinner with all the trimmings. Community support makes this possible. They will need a little more than 100 turkeys this year.

Christmas for Pine-Strawberry kids

Mountain Village Foundation has placed their toy donation boxes in Linda’s Unique Treasures and the Sportsman’s Chalet in Strawberry and the Early Bird restaurant, Uncle Tom’s Kwik Stop, and the Rusty Pine Cone in Pine. They are asking for donations of unwrapped new gifts for ages newborn to 18 years of age, as well as stocking stuffers.

Due to COVID, Mountain Village, like many charitable organizations, could not host their annual fundraisers. Your donations are critical.

If you have purchased any crocheted items at Linda’s Unique Treasures in Strawberry this year that money has all gone to the Mountain Village Foundation. This is the only way the group has been able to raise money outside of donations people have mailed in.

If you would like to send a donation directly to The Mountain Village Foundation, send a check to P.O. Box 715, Pine, AZ 85544.

Events canceled

It’s sad, but I’ve been asked to let you know that a couple of our holiday traditional events have been canceled. Tellabration, normally held in late November, and the Christmas Tree Lighting have been canceled. Look forward to them coming back strong in 2021.

Since it is likely that community Christmas traditions may also get canceled, if you are planning on being a spectacularly decorated home this year, and would like me to add your address to a list that people can visit by vehicle, safely social distancing, email me your address at

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