BY LIZA STROUT - Ladies and gentlemen of Boca Grande, it is time to roll up your sleeves for a good cause. Take an hour out of your day to visit the Big Red Bus when it stops at the United Methodist Church of Boca Grande on Tuesday, Feb. 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
This is the first general blood drive on the island in years. It all came about because island resident Jane Caple saw the Big Red Bus in Tiffany Square and stopped to get information. “I learned that 60% of people are eligible to donate blood, but only six percent actually do,” she reported.
Along with that tidbit, she also found out that any blood collected on Gasparilla Island would go to Venice Hospital, Peace River Regional Medical Center and Charlotte Regional Medical Center. “In an emergency or shortage, then it would also go to Fawcett Memorial and Englewood Hospitals,” Caple said.
Blood donation is one of the only ways to have your blood typed in Florida. “If you go into a hospital, or to a lab, most of them can’t do that for you. With a donation, you get a donor number and can go online to check the results of your miniphysical – blood pressure, cholesterol, temperature, pulse, and blood type,” she explained.
Donors will be rewarded with the traditional juice and cookie. This year donors will also receive a $12 movie voucher. If you do an ALYX donation, a double red blood cell donation which takes about 30 minutes longer and has slightly more stringent height and weight requirements, you will also get a $10 Darden Restaurants gift card in the mail.
All you need is your photo ID and time. Walk-ins are welcome, but you can make an appointment ahead of time at www.fbcdonor.org, using account #M8TW.
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