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Friday, Jul 1, 2022

Ice cream all around: Pint for a Pint blood drive comes to Greeneville, with treats from local creamery

Marsh Regional Blood Center is once again teaming up with The Creamy Cup to bring a sweet deal that will benefit children in the Appalachian Highlands.

The Pint for a Pint blood drive returns to Greeneville on Tuesday, July 5, from noon-6 p.m., offering free ice cream for every person who donates blood during the drive – and all blood collected by Marsh Regional benefits patients across the Appalachian Highlands, including Greene County.

The Pint for a Pint blood drive began in 2018 to highlight the particular need for blood donations to support the region’s pediatric population. During the event, donors will receive free ice cream from Greeneville-based favorite creamery, The Creamy Cup, along with a shark-themed T-shirt and a special-edition beach tote.

“This drive is so important because it highlights some of the most vulnerable people we serve – our children,” said Steffanie Sukel, director of Marsh Regional. “We’ve been so happy to see so many heroes come out for the Pint for a Pint drive in the past, so this drive is really becoming something we look forward to every year.

“Not only do you get to be a hero for these kids, but you also get to celebrate with delicious ice cream from a local business. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the warm weather!”

Marsh Regional’s blood supply – like many donor centers across the nation – remains at critical levels for all blood types, driving an urgent need for blood and blood product donations in the Appalachian Highlands. Products such as platelets aren’t collected on mobile units or at events like Pint for a Pint, but donors can make an appointment at any Marsh Regional blood donation center.

One blood donation can save up to three lives, and blood donations collected by Marsh Regional stay within the Appalachian Highlands. Marsh Regional supplies 21 regional medical facilities, all regional cancer facilities and five air rescue bases in Tennessee, Virginia and Kentucky.

As the region’s children’s hospital, Niswonger Children’s Hospital cares for many children who need blood and blood products, including babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, children with childhood cancers, children with blood disorders like acute lymphoblastic leukemia and children who need blood to undergo surgery. In addition, through the Ballad Health Niswonger Children’s Network, blood donations to Marsh Regional are also used in hospital emergency departments across 29 counties, aiding children in every corner of the Appalachian Highlands.

“There’s a significant population of children in our region who rely on our steady blood supply as part of their treatment plans, which is another reason it’s important for us to keep our shelves stocked with enough blood and blood products,” Sukel said. “Of course, we need enough blood on hand for emergencies, but we also serve a population who need regular transfusions, and that includes children and babies.”

“When you donate blood at Marsh Regional, you’re saving lives – maybe even the life of a friend or relative,” Sukel said. “When something unthinkable happens, like an accident or a medical emergency, our gracious donors ensure we have enough blood on hand to treat everyone. It’s never too late to step up and become a regular donor – a hero to everyone in your community.”

Walk-ins will be accommodated as availability allows, but donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment to donate at the Pint for a Pint blood drive by calling 423-282-7090. Donors must always wear a mask while donating blood. Those who are recovering from COVID-19 should wait at least 10 days after COVID-19 symptoms resolve before donating. 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.

In addition to Pint for a Pint, donors are welcome at Marsh Regional’s donation centers: 111 W. Stone Drive, Suite 300, Kingsport; 2428 Knob Creek Road, Johnson City; and 1996 W. State St., Bristol.

For more information about blood donation, or to schedule a blood drive, please call 423-408-7500 or visit Marsh Regional Blood Center's website.