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New program lets local patients thank their blood donors

Published: Apr. 18, 2022 at 10:04 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The next time you donate blood, you could receive a message thanking you for helping to save a life.

The Shepeard Blood Center is kicking off a new donor recognition program called “Thank the Donor.” It will let blood donation patients anonymously thank the person who donated to them.

At Shepeard Blood Center, every blood, platelet, and plasma donation goes back into the CSRA and helps treat patients at local hospitals.

Here’s how the program works:

Donated blood, platelet, or plasma is received by Shepeard Blood Center, is tested for safety, and then marked with a green heart tag.

Then the product is received by a patient at a hospital in Georgia or South Carolina, who can then follow instructions to send in a thank you message at thankthedonor.org

Using a unique barcode, Shepeard staff will receive the anonymous message from the patient and can send it on to the donor via email.

A long-time donor said he is excited about the possibility of learning who he is impacting and hopes it inspires others to give.

Franklin White has been donating blood for years.

“I lost count really, over the years I’ve been doing it for so many years,” said White.

He said he has sometimes wondered who’s benefited from his faithful donations.

“I have wondered some of the, you know, people that might be using it,” said White. “You never know who they are so I’ve wondered that.”

He said it has never impacted his decision to give but he is excited to have the possibility of knowing the impact of it because of this program.

“I think that makes it more exciting,” said White.

This program allows recipients to send anonymous messages to their donors as a way of saying “thank you”.

Ashley Whitaker, the Director of Community Resources said she is hopeful it encourages more people to give after two years of a shortage.

“It’s really nice to see the impact that you’ve made we’re hoping that encourages more people to come to donate and that it helps educate people on why donating blood is so important,” said Whitaker.

That impact comes from understanding, and it’s a reason White has kept giving, and he hopes others do the same.

“That just makes you want to do it more now because you know you’re helping someone that needs it,” said White.

Right now, Shepeard Center said they are having a better year with donations and they hope this program can help keep those numbers up.

While numbers are returning more to normal, Whitaker said there is still a need, and she is thankful for how the community has stepped up to give the last couple of months and hopes they continue to do so

Whitaker said the Shepeard Blood Center is in urgent need of all blood types, but especially A and B Type donors.

TO BE A DONOR

All donors must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be at least 17 years old (or 16 with written parental consent).

Be sure to bring a photo ID or Shepeard donor card with you when you come to donate.

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