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Community First CU recognized for blood drives

Waupaca branch honored for last summer’s blood drive

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Renee Popp, a receptionist at the Community First CU branch in Waupaca, has a deep-rooted fear of needles.

But, a few years ago she overcame her phobia with the help of a co-worker and started giving blood routinely by literally looking the other way. “I still hate the needle -- in fact, I never even peek at it -- but look forward to donating when the bus is here,” she said.

In 2012, Renee received her 3 gallon donor pin from Community Blood Center in Appleton as one of many CFCU employees and member/owners dedicated to the lifesaving act of donating blood for use when an emergency need arises in 18 northeastern Wisconsin hospitals.

Thanks to efforts by Renee, the Waupaca blood drive coordinator, and her co-workers in encouraging blood donations in the Waupaca community, the Community Blood Center recently notified CFCU that the Waupaca branch is being recognized with the Best Summer Blood Drive award for 2012 when it had 37 donors on June 29 and 41 donors on Aug. 24.

The Waupaca branch has a blood drive every nine weeks (always on a Friday) and has added an extra hour of donation time this year (1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. instead of 4:30) to handle the large turnouts and avoid having to turn any potential donors away, Renee said.

The secret to active participation, she said, is displaying marketing materials provided by Community Blood Center, an occasional newspaper ad and “word of mouth” advertising that encourages participation. They also have a sign-up sheet for the next blood drive available at each blood drive so donors can grab their preferred choice time slot.

“We set up the registration table right inside our front doors so we also get a lot of walk ins who don’t have a designated appointment, which is great because that usually brings them back again,” Renee said.

Community Blood Center officials will help the Waupaca branch celebrate its achievement during its April 26 blood drive with goodies and door prizes for donors. “They are the stars of the show,” Renee said.

Jill Kohl, CBC donor recruitment specialist, said summer blood drives are sometimes difficult to organize but credited Popp and the Waupaca branch staff for the two drives that “helped out the blood supply tremendously.”

“Your dedication and effort to the lifesaving act of blood donation helps ensure that the Community Blood Center can continue to meet 100 percent of the needs of local patients,” said Rick Hart, CBC president/ceo. “We depend on volunteer donors and the generous support of organizations like yours."
CFCU donors leave their mark

Many regular CFCU donors, like Cyndi Huolihan, teller trainer/travel team member, have a personal motivation for giving.

With her donation on March 12, Cyndi earned her 6 gallon pin for 48 donations. She started donating years ago when her sister needed 70 units to save her life due to complications after child birth.

But some, like Kristie Lang, mortgage loan originator at the Industrial Drive branch in Neenah, simply donate to fill a need in the community.

“Just to help people,” said Kristie, who has donated more than 5 gallons over the years. “You never know when you’re going to need it.”

Other regular CFCU employee donors include Joe Bauer, who has made 55 donations, one shy of 7 gallons, and Sherry Agen, who has made 25 donations or more than three gallons.

When the Community Blood Center bus stopped at the S. Oneida Street branch for about four hours March 12 there were 20 CFCU employees who donated, including three new recruits.

“We probably have 110 to 120 blood drives a month,” said Diane Beatty, recruitment lead, Community Blood Center. “We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the sponsors and the donors. None of this happens without them.”

CFCU has two additional blood drives scheduled this year on July 30 and Oct. 22 at the S. Oneida Street office.

Renee hopes that other CFCU colleagues consider participating because it is so important. “It’s a half hour out of my schedule every 8-9 weeks, yet it has the potential to save the lives of three people,” she said.
Congratulations to all CFCU blood donors for your generous donations!!

Blood donation facts: By the numbers

1 equals 3          One pint of blood can save up to three lives.

4.5 million          Americans need a blood transfusion each year.

2 seconds           Someone needs blood every two seconds.

37 percent          Only 37 percent of the U.S. population are eligible to donate – less than 10 percent do.

1 in 7                   Number of people entering a hospital that need blood.

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