By Mason W. Canales
Harker Heights Herald
Harker Heights employees and Scott & White Healthcare System will partner once again today to offer a blood donation location in the city.
The Scott & White Mobile Blood Unit will collect blood from donors in the City Hall parking lot from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The mobile donation center is opened to the public, and anyone who wishes to donate is welcome to come, Assistant City Manager Patty Brunson said.
"I always do it, and years ago I was apprehensive, but it doesn't hurt at all," Brunson said. "It is just taking the time. It is not about the pain of doing it. It is just about slowing your schedule down to go do it."
The city has hosted the Scott & White Mobile Unit since 2007, said Emily Brown, Scott & White blood donor recruiter. "They have partnered with us several times a year for a while."
The partnership came about as a response from city employees who were interested in making blood donations, Brunson said. In the partnership, employees are given a convenient place to donate, then the city makes sure employees have the time to donate if they choose to do so.
The last time the city hosted the mobile blood unit was July 30, Brunson said. It resulted in 29 bags of blood.
"(Harker Heights) has been successful," Brown said. "For the number of hours we are out there on average, we get about 20 people."
The blood donated to Scott & White stays in the community, Brown said.
The hospital uses the blood to help operate its emergency rooms, normal operations, cancer center and more, Brown said.
There are three mobile blood units, and Scott & White tries to have two of the three in the community every week day, she said. The one stopping in Harker Heights will be able to serve about 15 people an hour.
"For this particular drive, people who want to donate will go right inside the entrance of City Hall, and they will have a registration table there," Brown said.
In order to donate, residents must be at least 17 years of age, have a picture ID and weigh more than 110 pounds. They should eat before donating.
Donating blood takes an average of from 35 to 45 minutes, Brown said.
Those who donate will receive a coupon for a pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream, a Blue Bell Ice Cream T-shirt, a football helmet stress ball, be entered to win a teeth whitening from J. Philip Davis DDS and a chance to win one of five $50 gift certificates from Woods Flowers.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.