Forty donors donated to the Red Cross blood drive on March 26 at the Central Lincoln County YMCA. The blood drive was co-sponsored by the Second Congregational Church, UCC in Newcastle and the CLC YMCA.
The blood drive was originally planned to be hosted at 2nd Congo, one of the bi-monthly drives the church has committed to. A week ago it was determined by church leadership that the use of the church’s Fellowship Hall, normally the site for blood drives, wouldn’t meet CDC social distancing protocols. Second Congo’s pastor, Reverend Charlene Corbett reached out to CLCY CEO Casey Clark Kelley to ask if the CLC YMCA would be willing to open up their gym for the drive, which would offer more space and more efficient cleaning staff.
Kelley readily agreed to have CLCY co-host the blood drive. Second Congo agreed to promote the drive and its new location and to provide the six volunteers needed to staff the door check-in (which required temperature-taking) and the registration table.
"Our facility is sitting empty at the moment and we are looking for opportunities to use it to support the community where we can,” said Clark Kelly. “We hope to continue to offer blood drives throughout our closure and after."
The Red Cross wasn't able to take walk-ins as all the appointments were filled by the time of the blood drive. According to the Red Cross’s drive coordinator David Stires, 36 pints were collected from the 40 donors sign in to donate their blood. Since each donation is separated into three products—red cells, platelets, and plasma—the amount collected can save up to 108 lives.
The next blood drive in this area will take place at the LincolnHealth Education Center at 66 Chapman Street in Damariscotta (near the town police department) on Wednesday, April 22 from 1 to 6 pm. To schedule appointments call 1-800-RED-CROSS or by visiting redcrossblood.org and entering the zip code (04543) in the search bar. Due to the high turnout by donors at all Red Cross drives, the organization is not able to accommodate walk-in appointments.