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Marsh Regional hosts Pints for Paws blood drives, donates food to local animal shelters
Marsh Regional Blood Center’s donors have long enjoyed special-edition and themed T-shirts, but an upcoming blood drive will give their four-legged friends a chance to accessorize, too.
During the blood center’s Pints for Paws blood drives, which will be held from Feb.15-21 in Marsh Regional’s donation centers, blood donors will receive special Marsh Regional bandanas for their furry friends, and they’ll have the opportunity to fill out a paw print in honor or memory of a special pet. Plus, for every pint of blood received during these drives, Marsh Regional will make a $10 donation to the animal shelter of the donor’s choice.
“Blood donors come from all corners and walks of life, but they have one major trait in common: They want to help others – and that compassion doesn’t stop at humans,” said Steffanie Sukel, director of Marsh Regional. “Many of our donors have huge hearts for animals, and we’re all excited for this opportunity to help dogs and cats who need forever homes.”
Pints for Paws will take place at Marsh Regional’s collection centers: 111 W. Stone Drive, Suite 300, Kingsport, 2428 Knob Creek Road, Johnson City and 1996 W. State St., Bristol. All centers are open Monday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Additionally, the Julia Davis Collection Center in Kingsport is open from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday and noon-4 p.m. on Sunday.
When blood donors visit the collection centers and give, they will be able to select the shelter they want to support. Partnering shelters include The Bridge Home No-Kill Animal Rescue; City of Bristol, Tennessee, Animal Control; Holly Help Spay/Neuter Fund; Humane Society of Washington County; Neonatal Kitten Rescue; Petworks; Sullivan County Animal Shelter; and Washington County Animal Shelter.
“By taking an hour of their time, blood donors aren’t just saving lives of patients, but they’re lending a hand to animals who need help, too,” Sukel said.
To help ensure physical distancing and infection prevention, appointments are required before donors give at collection centers. Interested donors can call 423-408-7500 or visit Marsh Regional Blood Center to make an appointment. Walk-ins will be accommodated as available, and all eligible blood donors in the Appalachian Highlands are invited to attend.
Marsh Regional continues to take appropriate actions to reduce donors’ potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and COVID-19 does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or at blood drives. Additionally, blood donation centers always take steps to prevent team members and donors who are not feeling well or who have a fever from reaching the donor area.
Additionally, donors are required to wear a cloth face covering, such as homemade mask, bandana or buff, at all times. If donors do not bring their own face covering, Marsh Regional will provide one.
As many as three lives can be saved each time someone donates blood – and donations to Marsh Regional stay local to help people in the Appalachian Highlands. Marsh Regional supplies blood to 28 regional medical facilities, all regional cancer centers and five air rescue bases in Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.
In addition to the Pints for Paws blood drives, Marsh Regional will host blood drives across the Appalachian Highlands throughout February and March. Interested donors can visit www.marshblood.com to find a mobile drive near them.
To give blood, donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. People with a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters or who are taking antibiotics may not donate. Donors should eat a balanced meal before giving blood.
People who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are advised to wait at least 48 hours before making a blood, platelet or plasma donation.
Additionally, Marsh Regional has updated its donor eligibility guidelines to reflect new federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. Donation deferrals have been modified for individuals who were previously unable to give due to time spent in certain European countries or on military bases in Europe. Potential donors should call 423-408-7500 to be pre-screened for eligibility.
An appointment is required before giving blood at any blood center – donors should call 423-408-7500, 423-652-0014 or 423-282-7090 or visit Marsh Regional Blood Center for more information about appointments or to schedule a blood drive at a local business, church, school or community organization. Same-day blood donation appointments are frequently available.