VBS Seeks Donations to Keep Supplies Strong
Virginia Blood Services (VBS) officials are hoping to see an increase in donations with upcoming blood drives and stressing the importance of what giving blood can do for someone in the community.
“The reality and need for blood is daily,” said David Ambrogi, VBS’s volunteer coordinator for Henrico County.
VBS collects approximately 130,000 donations and holds more than 2,700 blood drives a year. The organization is holding several blood drives to combat recent decreases in donations.
“Holidays are the hardest times for blood donations,” said Marly Fausz, communications manager for VBS. All blood types are needed, especially O negative – the universal blood type.
The non-profit has been providing services for patients since 1974 around Central Virginia and employs more than 280 people.
VBS has eight donor centers including two in the West End, one in Chesterfield, and one in Chester. It receives no government funding and must rely upon donations and processing fees from patients’ transfusion charges to cover expenses and continue their effort of saving lives.
“With each donation, three lives are saved,” said Ambrogi. Four hundred pints of blood are needed every day just in Richmond alone and in a good year, only 1,200 total donations are given, he said.
Henrico County public safety, mental health, public works, and other departments hold blood drives six times a year on site for people to donate.
Blood drives are a source for VBS to gather volunteer donors to help individuals in need. A blood drive will be held at the Ruby Tuesday at Virginia Center Commons in Glen Allen from Dec. 20-23 and Dec. 27-30 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A bloodmobile also will be set up at Short Pump Town Center by the Crate and Barrel store during the same dates and times. Donors will be entered into a raffle for a $50 Visa gift card at both locations. Qdoba Mexican Grill is donating free entree cards for donors at both drives as well.
If 1,000 pints are donated, 3,000 lives could be saved. Blood donations help with surgeries, cancer treatments, joint replacements, and other therapies and conditions.
“Life ceases to exist without blood donation,” said Ambrogi.
If individuals aren’t able to donate, they can sponsor a blood drive to provide support for patients in need in the community. “You can recruit donations by holding your own blood drive with your business or organization,” said Fauz.
Last year, nearly 70,000 people volunteered to give blood to the Virginia Blood Services; VBS officials are hoping for the same this season.
“One in seven people entering the hospital this holiday will need blood,” Fausz said. “There are many different uses that people just don’t think about that are needed.”
To donate or to find a center or a local blood drive, visit: http://www.vablood.org
Citizen Staff Reports 12/16/2013
A decline in blood donations is typical during the winter months as people become busy with holiday activities and travel. Patient needs remain steady, however, making it important for people to visit a VBS donor site or mobile drive to give blood. > Read more.
In Varina, one of the most anticipated events of the season is approaching. The 19th Annual Big Toy Parade will return on Dec 14, offering a “homey,” small-town feel that helps elicit holiday spirit among participants and spectators alike.
The parade, which begins at 3 p.m., is sponsored by the Battlefield Ruritans and Henrico County Parks and Recreation and is held in conjunction with the James River Boat Parade. It is led by a grand marshal along Old Osborne Turnpike and ends at the Osborne Boat Landing, where hundreds of community members gather to await nightfall and the arrival of lighted boats, concluding a festive holiday celebration. > Read more.
Citizen Staff Reports 12/03/2013
Slated to begin play in the fall of 2014, Richmond United will field U13/14, U15/16 and U17/18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams. The teams will train and play home games at two of the top soccer specific complexes in the nation, Ukrop Park and Striker Park. > Read more.
It’s the final weekend before Christmas – but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare! Relax with half-a-million twinkling lights, enjoy Theatre IV on Tour’s production of “A Christmas Carol” or experience the 11th annual “Miracle of Christmas – Live at the Metro Richmond Zoo.” Another way to relax before the Big Day is with a good book. You can find a vast array of books, covering many genres, and meet authors at the Celebrate with a Book event on Saturday. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
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