If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – Be a hero and give the gift of life by donating blood at the Boots vs Badges Blood Drive, scheduled from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 14 at the City Auditorium in Fair Park.
The annual Coffee Memorial Blood Drive is a friendly competition held between the Childress Police and Fire Departments, said blood drive volunteer Sue Henderson. Firefighters will serve hot dogs, chips and cold drinks for all donors who registers to give blood. Each donor also will receive a Boots vs Badges T-shirt.
“During this time of COVID-19, summer vacations and extreme heat, blood donations are down and greatly needed,” Henderson said. “You are vital in keeping our blood supply ready for those who need it.”
Each donation can save up to three lives because each unit is divided into whole blood, platelets and plasma. Donors will have the option to have antibody testing done on their blood to see if they are COVID-19 positive, Henderson said.
Henderson also encourages people to come out and support Childress first responders by giving blood and voting for the Childress Police and Fire Departments.
“It saves lives,” Childress Police Chief Shade Miller said. “I started donating in 1997, when my dad was getting ready for a double lung transplant, and they asked family to donate. I’ve been donating ever since.”
Because of COVID-19, donors need to enter through the double doors of the large banquet room where each person will be greeted by a Coffee Memorial staff member, Henderson added. The staff will first take temperatures of each donor, and if they are well, then they will register.
“If we are able to get them right in, we will,” Henderson added. “If not, then a phone number will be taken, and we will ask the donor to wait in their vehicle until it is their turn to donate.”
Social distancing will be observed with all beds and chairs a minimum of six feet apart. Henderson said only 10 donors will be allowed in the room at the same time. All equipment will be sanitized between donations, and all essential staff will wear masks and gloves.
Donors must be at least 17 years old or 16 with a signed parental consent form, be in good health on the day of the donation, have a photo ID with them and weigh at least 115 pounds, Henderson said. Donors will be given a short health history and have blood levels and blood pressure checked. No one can be on an antibiotic at the time and must have been off of them for at least 48 hours.
To have a more pleasant experience, Henderson recommends eating a good meal within the six hours of giving and drinking plenty of water.
“Drinking beverages with caffeine tends to lower your blood counts before donation, so drink water before and after,” Henderson explained. “Eating nuts before your donation can help boost your blood count as well as other foods high in iron.”
The whole process of registration and donating should take about an hour, she said. To schedule an appointment, call 806-331-8833 or visit www.yourbloodinstitute.org. Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment is encouraged. Donors may complete a Donor Express form at www.thegiftoflife.org the day of the drive, print it and bring it with them to the blood drive.
“We are all extremely grateful for our faithful blood donors,” Henderson said.
The Fire Department won last year’s drive. Fire Chief Daniel Tyler was unavailable for comment.