Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the exclusive provider of blood for patients at all Joplin area hospitals as well as dozens of other area healthcare facilities, will hold the Joplin Proud Blood Drive May 17-21. The drive takes place at CBCO’s Joplin Donor Center, 101 N. Range Line Road inside the Northpark Mall. Drive hours are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM each day.
The city of Joplin, Missouri was forever changed May 22, 2011, when an EF-5 tornado swept through town. CBCO is part of the Joplin community, and is proud to be the sole provider of blood products to all Joplin hospitals.
In the aftermath of the tornado, blood donors lined up to help make sure those who were injured would have the blood they needed. One of those donors was Brenda Lafevers, who decided that it was time to give for the very first time.
“I had never given and was squeamish,” Lafevers said during a recent interview. “My kids went to Joplin High School and they were always having blood drives. But then the tornado happened, and it affected so many people I knew that it was time to get over my squeamishness.”
Lafevers gave then and has continued to give ever since. But hundreds of donors that rolled up their sleeves in the aftermath of the storm have never returned. “I would encourage people to try it again,” Lafevers said. “It is such an easy thing to do. Blood is needed every day, whether we’re responding to an emergency or not.”
“In 2011, we all had a real sense of pride when we lined up to donate. I get that same pride every time I give, knowing that I’m doing something good and meaningful for the community.”
On the Monday and Tuesday following the tornado, almost 2,000 CBCO blood donors gave their gift to help those injured in the storm. “The outpouring of support was tremendous and touching,” CBCO Media Relations Representative Chris Pilgrim said. “It is important to remember that the blood that helped injured victims initially was the blood that our donors had already given. Having a readily available blood supply in place to help in an emergency is an important part of a healthy community. I can think of no better way to honor the storm victims or the people that stepped up to give than by giving again.”
During the Joplin Proud Blood Drive, successful donors will receive a limited edition “Joplin Proud” T-shirt, while supplies last. Appointments are not required but are recommended. For more information or to make an appointment to give, go online to https://www.cbco.org/joplinproud/.
On behalf of local hospital patients, CBCO thanks blood donors from across the region for giving life to your community.
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