Blood drives attract new donors, exceed goals

KAILUA-KONA — Blood drives held earlier this month in West Hawaii were a success, Blood Bank of Hawaii officials said Tuesday.

The drives, held Sept. 4 in Waimea and Sept. 5 in Kailua-Kona, resulted in 212 pints of blood collected, according to statistics provided by Blood Bank of Hawaii President and CEO Kim-Anh Nguyen. Staff and volunteers had set a goal to collect 184 pints.

In Waimea, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Waimea Cultural Hall, the goal was to collect 60 pints. Ninety people had registered to donate blood, however, 16 were deferred resulting in 74 donations. Thirteen people donated for their first time.

In Kailua-Kona, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Kona Stake Center, staff and volunteers set out to collect 124 points. Some 166 people were registered to donate and 28 were deferred resulting in 138 donations. Sixteen of those donations came from first-time donors.

“We are incredibly thankful for our community’s response to the state’s blood supply shortage due to Tropical Storm Lane. In September, we exceeded our collection goals in Kona and saw an impressive turnout of first time donors,” Nguyen said. “Two hundred blood donations are needed every single day in Hawaii, and we are back on track because of everyone who spread the word and answered the call to donate.”