PINEVILLE – The McDonald County blood drive took place on June 25 at the Pineville Christian Church, marking one of the scheduled blood drives that take place every eight weeks in the county. During the collection, 35 people tried to donate blood, 30 donors were successful. Fundraising organizers and donors are encouraging community members to donate at the next fundraiser, which will be held August 20 at the Pineville Christian Church.
Janice Bearbower is the McDonald County contact for the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks. Bearbower said the ride is offered every eight weeks year round, with ride dates this year in January, April, June, August and November. Bearbower said in McDonald County the goal is to have 20 to 25 donors per reader, which was completed by 30 donors on June 25. necessary.
Upon collection, donors donate a pint of blood and the donated blood remains in hospitals near McDonald County.
“The blood stays in this area,” Bearbower said. “It gives us a chance to see that blood first so that we don’t have to just go out and ask for blood. We get blood that comes from people who live here. It’s one of the most important things, plus it makes it available here. “
Bearbower said the blood donation brings a sense of unity to the citizens of McDonald County.
“The other impact, which I think is very important, is that we get a sense of oneness,” Bearbower said. “We have the opportunity to work together as a community. And often when a group of people work together for a common good, it builds camaraderie, support, awareness. “
Nathaniel Stokes, 27, was a blood donor at the June 25 drive. Stokes said he donated blood because he felt it was his job as a member of the community.
“If you saw a man struggling on the side of the road, or if you saw a man dying on the side of the road and you had the opportunity and the ability to help that person, you would, don’t. wouldn’t you? ” Stokes said, likening the example to the blood drive.
Stokes said he enjoys giving and feels he is contributing to the members of McDonald County through the blood drive.
“I’m just trying to do everything I can to make my little contribution to saving lives,” Stokes said. “I mean, how powerful is that? How powerful is it knowing that every time you wake up on August 20 you’re going to save lives?”
Belinda Belk is a Blood Drive Consultant for the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks and has held this position for 11 years. Belk serves southwestern Missouri and southeastern Kansas, covering 12 counties. Belk said the organization serves a total of 44 hospitals in 40 counties in total.
Belk said there had been a drop in the number of blood donors since covid-19 became prevalent in the region. Belk added that some people don’t think they can donate due to having previously had covid-19 or vaccinations, which is often misunderstood but explained in more detail on the organization’s website. Belk said there was a decrease in donors in the summer as well.
“During the summer people are off schedule, they are on vacation. I think more people are traveling this summer than they did last summer,” Belk said. “Summer is a busy time; they don’t necessarily think about coming in to donate. The need continues. Unfortunately, with more trips there are more accidents, so you have to be prepared to deal with these accidents. and be ready to help these. victims. “
Belk said that in 2020 Joplin hospitals used 7,875 pints of blood, Neosho used 176 pints and some hospitals in northwest Arkansas used 10,497 pints. Belk said that sometimes people don’t think about the importance of blood donors until they, or a family member, need blood.
“Usually people don’t realize the need until it affects their family, someone they know and love,” Belk said, recalling that his father needed blood during various interventions. surgical due to illness.
The next McDonald County blood drive will be on August 20 at the Pineville Christian Church. Children 16 years old can donate with parental permission, people 17 and older can donate on their own. The minimum weight to donate blood is 110 pounds. The time of the event has yet to be decided, as Bearbower may change the time to make it more accessible to people during the day.
PHOTO BY ALEXUS UNDERWOOD Nathaniel Stokes, 27, donating blood. Stokes is one of 30 who donated blood on June 25.
PHOTO BY ALEXUS UNDERWOOD The Pineville Christian Church is converted into a room filled with medical supplies and tables for blood collection. Donors can register before the trip or travel to donate.
PHOTO BY ALEXUS UNDERWOOD Janice Bearbower and her husband with a member of the Pineville Christian Church and a blood donor. Donors can get a snack and juice after their donation.