As another Watson Cares Initiative, my office, Watson Realty Corp., St. Augustine Beach sponsored the years first Blood Drive February 26, 2010.
The Blood Alliance Mobile Unit was center stage at our A1A office parking lot, drawing much attention from cars passing by. In fact, when one donor saw what was going on he drove in just to contribute. Fourteen units were collected that day which equates in saving over 60 local lives.
I have to admit, I was scared to death. I am frightened of needles and usually feel like I can pass out whenever I have to get blood drawn or an IV. I knew the importance of blood donation. I just never wanted to go through that awful feeling on purpose. I did it last Friday when the Blood Mobile came to my office. I must say that I was frightened at first, but it was nothing. I am truly honored for the opportunity to save local lives. In fact, the blood I donated saved three lives, people right here in St. Augustine.
The Blood Alliance is a non-profit community blood bank. Its purpose is to ensure that our community has an ample supply of blood, sufficient to meet the needs of local patients. They are the sole provider of transfusable blood products to all local hospitals in northeast Florida, and portions of Georgia and South Carolina so we are always in need of donations to keep these hospitals stocked.
When you donate blood through The Blood Alliance, you are giving back to your community. Blood donated with The Blood Alliance stays in the community to benefit local patients, which is not the case with other agencies. Population growth, medical advances, and increasing blood safety measures are causing an increase in local demand that exceeds our donation rates. There is no substitute for human blood. It cannot be manufactured or harvested. The only way to fill patient needs is with donors like you. Our community must become more aggressive in its donation efforts. This year The Blood Alliance must see over 100,000 donors to meet local hospital needs.
It is my plan, as the Watson Cares liaison between our local office and Watson Realty Corp. Corporate office, is to offer this blood drive several times throughout the year to meet the needs of the Blood Alliance and our local hospitals. You can betcha I’ll be donating each and every time.