News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 9, 2013

Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, Indiana Blood Center, team up for blood drives

Lisa Trigg
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — Every two seconds, someone needs blood.

Every year, Girl Scouts of Central Indiana sell cookies.

On Friday, Indiana Blood Center teamed up with the Girl Scout council for “Thin Mints for a Cause” blood drives around the state to encourage people to donate a pint of live-saving blood, and to reward donors with a free box of Thin Mints.

At the Terre Haute location of the Indiana Blood Center in the 2000 block of South Third Street, several green boxes of Thin Mints were handed out. The center had 17 whole blood donations and 5 platelet donations, which is right on target for a Friday, blood center workers said.

The process of donating blood has been distilled to less than an hour, making it a relatively quick stop in a busy day for a certain Tribune-Star journalist who has also volunteered as a Girl Scout troop leader for more than 10 years.

There are four easy steps to donating blood — a medical history, a mini-physical, donation and refreshments. The medical history revealed no concern or anemia, said supervisor Nancy Liberty, and the mini-physical showed a good blood pressure and pulse, as well as an average temperature. Once the needle was inserted and the tap was turned on, by blood collection technician Susan Chobanov, the one-pint bag was filled in 6 minutes.

Staying focused on refreshments and a free box of Thin Mints likely helped speed up the process.

Friday was also the first ever National Girl Scout Cookie Day, and the blood drive was promoted to Scouts and their families as well as to communities.

Deborah Hearn Smith, chief executive officer of GSCI, stated in a news release that Friday’s partnership was natural because many Girl Scouts and their families have been recipients of blood donations, from lifesaving surgeries to treating cancer.

“Teaming up with Indiana Blood Center is a natural partnership to help motivate donations as community service is a cornerstone of Girl Scouts,” Smith said.

Shannon Jordan, director of marketing for Indiana Blood Center, said that cookies are a natural connection between the blood center and Girl Scouts.

“We are known for the cookies we offer after blood donation, and the Girl Scouts for their annual cookie sales,” Jordan said. “Coming together helps mark the first National Girl Scout Cookie Day while offering our donors a much-deserved thanks for saving a life through blood donation.”

Many of the people at the Terre Haute blood center on Friday are people who have made a regular commitment to donate blood as often as possible.

John Shields of Brazil said he usually makes a blood donation at either a mobile blood center or the South Third Street location. And he appreciated Friday’s Thin Mint bonus.

“I started donating blood after high school,” he said. “And I’ve had an instance in the past where I needed two units of blood as well. Definitely, since that time, I have made it a point to donate. I know where I’d be without it.”

As a nursing student at Ivy Tech Community College, Shields also sees people who benefit from blood donations when he works a shift at an area hospital.

One pint of blood can help up to three people, according to the blood center’s website at www.indiana Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, and Platelets can be donated every 7 days. Double red cells can be donated every 112 days. And, plasma can be donated every 28 days.

For more information about the Indiana Blood Center, call 812-238-2495.

Reporter Lisa Trigg can be reached at 812-231-4254 or Follow her on Twitter @TribStarLisa.