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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • Bitter cold blood drive attracts new donors

  • “I just felt like it was something I should have been doing. It’s helped someone in my family, and it felt like the right thing to do.”
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  • On one of the coldest days of the year, with the windchill reaching temperatures less than 25 degrees below zero, the American Red Cross blood mobile rolled into St. James to collect donations from the community.
    One resident heard the call for donations and decided now would be a good time to give blood. Janine Bowers gave blood for the first time at the Thursday, Jan. 31, blood draw.
    “I just felt like it was something I should have been doing,” said Bowers. “It’s helped someone in my family, and it felt like the right thing to do.”
    Posters have been hanging in St. James businesses for most of the month of January and Bowers learned of the blood draw from a poster hanging in her office at St. James Family Dentistry.
    Aiding in the donation process was Melissa Buddensiek, who has been a phlebotomist for the American Red Cross for about a year and a half. Buddensiek worked to make Bowers’ first experience donating blood a good one.
    “I’ll definitely be doing it again,” said Bowers. “It’s been a very comfortable process, and they found the vein right away.”
    “It was a good vein, just the way we like them,” said Buddensiek.
    Though this was the first time Bowers has given blood, she explained she wasn’t nervous about the experience.When she placed a call earlier in the week to make an appointment the entire process was explained to her, so she knew what to expect.
    The process of giving blood takes an average of eight minutes – depending on how much water a donor has drunk throughout the day and the size of the vein.
    Volunteers were expecting about 115 donors over the two days of collection. That many donors are capable of saving more than 300 lives. Look for future blood drive dates in the Plaindealer and schedule an appointment to save a life the next time the American Red Cross blood mobile stops in St. James. The need is constant and the gratification in instant.

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