Originally printed in the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead’s ChamberChoice special insert
The staff at United Blood Services is extremely excited and proud to be named Not-for-Profit of the Year. “Our staff works hard to ensure that blood is available for area patients, that it’s safe, and that no one has to worry about where they or their family member will get the life-saving blood they need,” says Tami Kilzer, donor recruitment specialist. “It’s a great feeling to have those efforts recognized.”
Being part of The Chamber also gives United Blood Services the opportunity to expand its reach. “Chamber membership allows us to meet new people who either are or will consider becoming a blood donor. The more people know about our mission, the more lives we can save through blood donation,” says Kilzer.
The need for blood in the community is ongoing. Every day, 350 units of blood need to be collected throughout the region to sustain and improve the lives of area patients. “Last year alone,” says Kilzer, “our region collected over 155,000 blood products, including red blood cells, platelets and plasma for use in area hospitals.”
Despite the ever-present need, some people may be hesitant to donate blood based on misinformation and misconceptions. Kilzer says that United Blood Services is there to clear up the confusion.
“Many people think they can’t donate blood because of health histories, tattoos, medications and travel,” says Kilzer. “But many times, people are surprised to find out they actually can still donate. We try to keep educating the public to check in with us before they assume anything about their eligibility. Some people think they need to know their blood type before they give, but that’s not true. That’s our job! We encourage people just to ask the questions and get all the facts.”
Donors receive a free cholesterol test when they donate blood and can accrue Hero Reward points, which they can redeem for thank-you gifts, such as movie tickets, T-shirts and DVD certificates.
One of the largest blood drives conducted by United Blood Services every year is the Battle of the Badges Blood Drive in July. This is a four-day event partnering with local police and firefighters.
“It is the largest blood drive in the state, seeing over 800 people volunteer to give blood over the four days,” says Kilzer. “It is a great community event with some very dedicated parties involved to educate others on our mission and put enough blood on the shelves during the summer months.”
Learn more at www.bloodsystems.org.