WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Dunkin’ Donuts and the American Red Cross kicked off a month-long campaign to encourage summer blood donations with a drive aimed to curb a looming blood shortage.
Monday’s event was at the Dunkin’ Donuts located at 1020 Wilkes-Barre Township Boulevard, and was highlighted with a “giant” coupon presentation.
Robert Kessler, chief executive officer for the Northeastern Pennsylvania Red Cross Region, said since May donations are down 8 percent, resulting in about 80,000 fewer donations than expected.
“The number of donors continues to decline and the shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the coming weeks,” Kessler said. “About 10 to 12 percent of our donors are high school and college students and when school is out, we see a decline in donations. By offering these incentive plans we hope to avoid any crisis situation.”
In August, all donors will receive a coupon for $2.50 off a 48 oz. container of Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream, said Colin Riccobon, Red Cross spokesman.
He said Dunkin Donuts also has agreed to give away a coupon for a free iced coffee and a doughnut to all donors from Aug. 1-31.
“Every day this summer is also a chance to give hope,” Kessler said. “Patients don’t get a vacation from needing blood and platelets. The need is constant.”
Kessler said people, especially those with “O” type blood, are always urged to donate.
Terry Searfoss, 46, of Wilkes-Barre, was donating her blood for the first time on Monday.
“I’ve decided to give back in areas I wasn’t able to before,” she said. “I intend to donate blood more often.”
Searfoss said her brother was severely injured in a traffic accident years ago and blood transfusions were needed. She said her brother survived, but incurred some serious injuries. She said he donates blood often.
“He inspired me to start donating blood,” Searfoss said.
Charise Timko, team supervisor at the blood drive, said donors like the incentives offered, like coffee and a doughnut.
“We’ve had a lot of first-timers,” Timko said. “And when they’re done, they feel so good they want to do it again.”
Bob and Marge Gushka of Kingston have donated blood many times over the years.
“I’m healthy and I want to give back,” Marge said.
Gushka said she first donated blood when she was in her teens and she met a man who was in his 70s who had donated blood many times.
“He said he felt healthier and it made him feel young again,” she said.
Future blood drives
Today - Luzerne County Employees, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; 200 North River St. Wilkes-Barre
Aug. 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 1, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31 - American Red Cross Wilkes-Barre Donor Center, 29 New Commerce Boulevard, Ashley; hours vary; call 570-823-7164 fort more information.
Aug. 8 - Thomas P. Saxton Medical Pavilion, Noon to 5 p.m., 468 Northampton St., Edwardsville
Aug. 11 - St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 12:30p.m. – 5:30p.m., 116 Hughes St., Swoyersville
Aug. 15 - Walgreens Pharmacy, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.; 2100 N. Township Boulevard, Pittston
Aug. 18 - St. Therese Church, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.; Davis Street, Shavertown
Aug. 18 - Hazleton Area Chapter House, 8:30a.m. – 12:30p.m.; 165 Susquehanna Boulevard, West Hazleton
Aug. 20 - Freeland American Legion, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.; 523 Centre St., Freeland
Aug. 21 - Dallas American Legion, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.; 730 Memorial Highway, Dallas
Aug. 21 - Nuremberg Weston Fire Hall, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.; 456 Hazle Street, Weston
Aug. 21 - PetroChoice, 2 p.m. - 7 p.m.; 1 Clark Road, Duryea
Aug. 25 - Queen of Heaven Parish, 2:30p.m. – 7 p.m.; 750 North Vine St., Hazleton
Aug. 26 - Social Security Disability, 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; 47 South Washington St., Wilkes-Barre
Aug. 26 - Mountain Top Family Church, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.; 209 South Main Boulevard, Mountain Top
Aug. 27 - St. Patrick’s Church, 1 p.m. - 6 p.m.; 580 Elmira St., White Haven
Aug. 29 - The Laurel Mall, 1:30p.m. – 6:30p.m.; 106 Laurel Mall Road, Hazle Township