Keystone-Miller Blood Center holds event to encourage giving blood

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In addition to blood, the event also supports local non-profits

PITTSTON TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Blood donations are typically low during the holiday season, let alone a year when there is a pandemic.

A local blood center launched an inaugural event Thursday to help beef up blood supplies, but with a twist. This particular blood drive at Miller-Keystone Blood Center is rather ambitious. Not only is it supplying blood to local hospitals but also benefitting local non-profits.

You might be able to tell by his protective face mask that Michael Lampman is a firefighter. But this volunteer with the Avoca Fire Department is also a dedicated blood donor.

“Well, I’m certainly aware of the critical need and the uses for stuff like this whether it’s for actual direct patient care, research even,” Lampman said.

Lampman is among donors who signed up for a three-day blood drive called The Life Blood of our Community. Besides a goal of collecting 150 much-needed units of blood, the event benefits five northeastern Pennsylvania non-profits which recruited blood donors for the drive.

“We’ll be able to complete our mission of providing blood products to the patients we service in 28 local hospitals and the non-profits will be able to continue their services and programs for the people they serve as well,” Kathy Rowinski, Keystone-Miller Blood Center Account Manager, said.

Money is raised through sponsorships from local businesses and private funding. A fund has been established at Luzerne Foundation with all funds raised matched by AllOne Charities.

“Most non-profits are experiencing a really large financial hit this year,” Osterhout Free Library Director of Development Amber Loomis said.

Among them Osterhout Free Library which scrapped its annual summer book sale because of COVID and has tried to compensate with fundraisers like a Brewsterhout Coupon Book and T-Shirt sale. The library system will benefit from The Life Blood of Our Community.

“So, the funds that are raised from this event are incredibly helpful to each and every one of us participating this year and obviously the other goal is to get those blood donations that Miller-Keystone needs,” Loomis said.

The Life Blood of our Community event continues through Saturday. So far, the event has raised $12,000 which will be doubled by AllOne Foundation to help participating non-profits.

Miller-Keystone is also looking for more corporate sponsors to help the cause. For more information, visit giveapint.org.

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