The first blood drive on Lanai in more than a decade will take place on Jan. 16. The community-wide effort is being organized by Blood Bank of Hawaii with important “boots on the ground” support provided by Lanai High School student volunteers.
Hawaii in need of blood donors
According to Karin Knudsen, Manager, Marketing and Donor Recruitment at Blood Bank of Hawaii, 60 percent of the state’s residents are eligible to give blood, but less than two percent donate it.
“There was an opportunity on Lanai to help meet the needs of our hospitals and save lives,” explains Knudsen. “We are thankful for the Maui County field supervisor, Jonette Correia and the local volunteers who worked so hard to make this blood drive on Lanai happen.”
Lanai High School students provide vital support
Lanai High School student volunteers, Micah Camaquin, Millena Calilao, Bechelle Elaydo, Ian Viloria, Tiffany Fernandez and Absydee Molina, have provided vital on-island support needed to coordinate a successful blood drive.
The students have helped prepare for the community blood drive by rallying support from friends, family and local businesses to raise awareness, register donor appointments and request monetary and in-kind donations from Lanai City businesses. Excitement about the blood drive has grown on Lanai through the students’ efforts.
“At first there was some hesitation from folks who didn’t understand how the blood donation process works, or didn’t realize that they were eligible,” Calilao explains.
Although the initiative has been a significant undertaking, the students have found the process rewarding. In fact, Camaquin has a personal reason to ensure the success of the event.
“As I began work on this project, my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer, and I learned that cancer patients need blood. It hit close to home for me and I needed to see this work,” Camaquin said.
How to participate in the blood drive
The Lanai community blood drive takes place at the LHES gymnasium 8:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 16. Blood Bank of Hawaii recommends that donors schedule an appointment ahead of the blood drive and set aside an hour to donate blood.
Upon arrival, donors fill out basic paperwork to determine eligibility and meet with a collection specialist. After filling out brief forms, a specialist will review answers and conduct a mini-physical to measure blood pressure and iron levels. The actual blood drawing takes five to seven minutes. Afterwards, donors may enjoy refreshment donated by local Lanai businesses.
If you are interested in donating blood, Blood Bank of Hawaii and LHES volunteers are scheduling donor appointments ahead of the date. To participate in the blood drive, make an appointment by calling 565-7900 ext. 238 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help meet the blood drive goal
The Lanai community blood drive goal is to schedule 240 appointments. Thus far, 223 have been scheduled and the LHES student volunteers are only 60 shy of their goal. If 240 Lanai residents donate blood on Jan. 16, Blood Bank of Hawaii hopes to collect 150 pints of blood for individuals in Maui County.
“It feels good to know we are making a difference in the state,” says Calilao. “There is a blood shortage, and lives can be saved with this event.”
To learn more about the Lanai Community Blood Drive, click here.