Columbia County Emergency and Operations Division Director Pam Tucker believes those who give should also receive.
Donors who leave a pint at the Emergency Management Agency’s Fall blood drive, set for 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Columbia County Government Center Auditorium in Evans and at the Roads and Bridges department in Appling, will leave with a full heart and a full stomach.
Each donor will receive a complimentary meal from Chik-fil-A or Firehouse Subs and a T-shirt, and be entered into drawings for door prizes, including a $250 pre-paid Visa card.
“We do a lot of planning ahead for these,” Tucker said. “We talk to Shepeard (Community Blood Center) and discuss what we can to draw in donors.”
Tucker said they pay particular attention to attracting first-time donors. For this drive, each first timer will receive a Snuggie-style robe. She said she hopes to draw in about 50 new donors with the lure of winter warmth.
She said that while there are premiums offered, she has found that people still give blood because they want to give, not receive.
“People are still doing this for the greater good,” she said. “They understand that a pint of blood might save lives.”
She said she understands that some people are hesitant, and fearful, of giving blood. She said if the blankets, lunch and T-shirts aren’t enough, she’s willing to personally step in.
“If they want me to hold their hand, well, I’ll do it.”