A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Bonfils Blood Center visits for a third time

LHS sponsored a blood drive on Thursday, 2/2, and Friday, 2/3 from 8 am to 1:30 pm in the forum. The blood drive was open to all members of the community. It was ran through Bonfils Blood Center and it was their third time coming to Littleton. The drive was set up by the school’s National Honor Society and their director Josh Haun.

Bonfils is a non profit organization that relies on on volunteer blood donors to support the community blood supply. They provide a majority of Colorado’s blood supply and distributes blood to about 100 hospitals and other facilities where it is used in many different medical treatments.

During World War II when people were supporting the war effort at home, many realized the lifesaving importance of blood and the transfusions it’s used for. That’s when  Dr. Osgoode Philpott and philanthropist Helen G. Bonfils realized the need for a local community blood bank. In 1943 they founded Belle Bonfils Memorial Blood Bank and it has flourished ever since.

Today Bonfils has about 400 employees and serves patients in Colorado and beyond. Bonfils need to collect approximately 3,500 blood donations each week to support patients at nearly 140 hospitals and healthcare facilities.

To prepare to donate, NHS, and Bonfils asks that you weigh at least 110 pounds, be at least 16-years-old, have a signed parental consent form if you are 16 or 17, have not traveled to a malaria risk country in the past year, eat a good meal and drink plenty of water before your donation, bring your ID with you to the drive, drink plenty of non-caffeinated fluids both before and after you donate, and not take aspirin 24 hours before you donate in order to have a successful donation.

It takes about an hour for the donation process and to receive post-donation refreshments and snacks. The donation itself only takes about 10 minutes. Following the donation the blood is tested, processed, stored and distributed to patients in need.

Right now especially the center needs donors because January and February are a slow time for donations due to the winter weather and the spike in illnesses during these months, so it is even more greatly appreciated when you donate blood. No matter what, it is an easy way to give back to the community and help someone in need.