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.
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Henrico Doctors’ Hospitals named to nation’s top 100


HCA Virginia's Henrico Doctors' Hospitals recently was named one of the nation’s 100 top hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, a provider of information and solutions that support healthcare cost and quality improvement.

Henrico Doctors’ Hospitals consists of three community hospitals – Henrico (Forest), Parham, and Retreat Doctors’ Hospitals – and two freestanding emergency departments, West Creek Emergency Center and Hanover Emergency Center. Henrico Doctors’ Hospitals specializes in heart and stroke care, women’s health, oncology, orthopedics, urology, and behavioral health. > Read more.

Henrico residents invited to share design ideas for new Fairfield Area Library


Henrico County Public Library is planning community meetings March 28-29 and April 1 to receive input from county residents on the design of a new Fairfield Area Library. Meetings will be held at the Fairfield Area Library, 1001 N. Laburnum Ave., and at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, 1440 N. Laburnum Ave.

Architects from BCWH, Inc. will join library staff for the meetings, which will feature discussions and seek ideas on spaces and services for specific age groups as well as designs for the entire facility. > Read more.

Virginia529 enrollment period closes March 31


Time is running out to enroll in a program to prepay tuition at Virginia public colleges and universities. The current enrollment window for Virginia529's Prepaid529 ends March 31. Nearly 50,000 Virginia students have funded college costs through this program since it began 20 years ago.

Prepaid529 allows families to purchase semesters of tuition and mandatory fees for newborn children through ninth graders. Semester prices vary based on the age of the beneficiary. > Read more.

Henrico Police seek Northside robbery suspect


MAR. 21, 9:30 A.M. – Henrico Police are seeking the man who robbed a Wells Fargo Bank on Brook Road Monday evening.

At approximately 5 p.m. March 20, police responded to the bank, in the 8100 block of Brook Road, after reports that a white male had entered the business and presented a note demanding money. > Read more.

Baker students to be shifted to other schools temporarily

MAR. 20, 5:31 P.M. – Students at Varina's Baker Elementary – which is closed following a fire Sunday – will be moved to other schools temporarily while repair work is completed at Baker, school system officials announced today.

The school was closed today and will be closed Tuesday, but beginning Wednesday pre-K students and those in the Early Childhood Special Education Program will temporarily attend school at the New Bridge Learning Center, 5915 Nine Mile Road.

Baker students in grades K-2 will temporarily attend Mehfoud Elementary School, 8320 Buffin Road in Varina. And students in grades 3-5 will temporarily attend Varina Elementary School, 2551 New Market Road.
> Read more.
Community

Villa’s Flagler Housing wins national NAEH award


St. Joseph's Villa’s Flagler Housing & Homeless Services was one of three entities to earn the National Alliance to End Homelessness' Champion of Change Award. The awards were presented Nov. 17 during a ceremony at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

NAEH annually recognizes proven programs and significant achievements in ending child and family homelessness.

Flagler completed its transition from an on-campus shelter to the community-based model of rapid rehousing in 2013, and it was one of the nation's first rapid re-housing service providers to be certified by NAEH. > Read more.

RIR’s Christmas tree lighting rescheduled for Dec. 12


Richmond International Raceway's 13th annual Community Christmas tree lighting has been rescheduled from Dec. 6 to Monday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m., due to inclement weather expected on the original date.

Entertainment Dec. 12 will be provided by the Laburnum Elementary School choir and the Henrico High School Mighty Marching Warriors band. Tree decorations crafted by students from Laburnum Elementary School and L. Douglas Wilder Middle School will be on display. Hot chocolate and cookies will be supplied by the Henrico High School football boosters. > Read more.
Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate, check out Innsbrook’s 8th annual St. Paddy’s Palooza – there will be music and dancing, a hot air balloon, kid’s activities, festive green beverages and volunteers shaving their heads to raise money for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. For more Irish fun, visit Walkerton Tavern for stories of Irish immigrants during the 19th century, traditional Irish foods, songs and an Irish craft. Concert opportunities this weekend include Leland Grant tonight at the Henrico Theatre, Sandston Baptist Church, Sandston Moose Lodge, the Shady Grove Coffeehouse and the Richmond Philharmonic at The Steward School. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

 

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The Hanover Book Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Times-Dispatch Community Building, 8460 Times Dispatch Dr. in Mechanicsville. Greet dozens of current authors, attend a workshop for aspiring writers, and browse books – for every four bought, you’ll receive a free book. There will also be a silent auction, children’s activities and more. Admission is free and open to the community. This nonprofit event is presented by the Hanover Writers Chapter of the Virginia Writers Club. The festival began in 2006. For details, visit http://www.hanoverbookfestival.com. Full text

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