[brid video=”280085″ player=”13623″ title=”WKRBC Kiki Owensboro Times”]Tuesday, the Western Kentucky Regional Blood Center asked the question, “How far would you go to increase blood donor donations?” This challenge was proposed to other blood banks after the WKRBC staff boarded the Bloodmobile and completed their version of the In My Feelings: Kiki Challenge.
According to the Director of Donor Resources, Vicki Ellis, “Blood donation is important. We couldn’t do anything without our donors. Our donors are our Kiki.”
The blood bank was inspired to create a music video on the advice of Owensboro Police Officer, and frequent blood donor, Adam Johnston. After seeing the positive publicity the police department and local responders had received lately, the WKRBC thought it was time to try their hand at a little singing and dancing in order to bring about awareness.
This year marks the 40th anniversary for the blood center which was “established with the sole purpose of supplying blood to Western Kentucky.”
What most people may not know is the WKRBC is responsible for supplying six hospitals with their blood supply and is the only blood center their size in the state of Kentucky that does their own testing.
The testing aspect is a huge advantage because it allows them immediate control of their blood supply, in the case of an emergency or mass casualty.
One of the main reasons the blood center issued the challenge, and one of the main takeaways they need people to remember, is they always need donors. More importantly, they need repeat donors.
Ellis said, “We want you to donate — but we want you to come back.”
She also said that during emergencies and times of tragedy, “people want to help.” But if those same people would just come back and donate three times a year, they would be able to maintain the supply they need.
The blood center is not just a non-profit organization that seeks blood donations. They are also an educational resource that consistently gives back to the community. They offer educational tours, present to high school anatomy classes and partner with various organizations.
The WKRBC also offers the High School Hero award to those students who donate blood four times before they graduate. The student not only receives an award at graduation but a solid red honor cord to wear to symbolize their contribution as a life saver.
High school blood drives have become incredibly impactful to the blood center because that is often the first experience a person has with donating blood. Often that experience can determine whether that individual will be a donor for life.
It is important to the WKRBC, Ellis said, to not be “always asking, but also giving back.”
While donating blood and plasma is always encouraged, there are some special donor events coming up:
Labor Day Donors, Friday, August 31st, 2018 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday, September 4th, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Halloween Vein Drain, Wednesday, October 31st, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Donors, Wednesday, November 21st, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m and Friday, November 23rd, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.