“The tradition started eight years ago with a challenge,” says Deb Anderson, supervisor for Red Cross. “To get fifty people in to give blood in exchange for fifty pumpkin pies.”
Eight years later, Red Cross is happy to report the best year to date, with 208 units of blood being collected from 206 donors on Thanksgiving day.
One unit of blood is about 450 ml, or just under a pint and can save up to three lives. Red Cross wanted to thank the staff and all of those people who attended the blood drive for giving their time and the gift of life.
The Thanksgiving blood drive in St. James is the only community blood drive in Minnesota on Thanksgiving day. Everyone who gave Thanksgiving day received a sticker that said “be nice to me, I gave blood today” and a free pumpkin pie from Paul’s Food Pride. Most importantly, they provided something for those people in need this holiday season.
A competition between the fire department and ambulance squad in St. James took place again this year. As it has since the fireman challenged the ambulance squad to see who could donate the most units of blood in the past.
The ambulance crew surpassed the fire department winning the competition by two units of blood this year. As a reward, the ambulance crew received the “blood drop” trophy – which is a travelling trophy that goes to the winner every year.
To everyone who gave the gift of life this year, thank you.