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Summer Campaigns Launch TO Mitigate Seasonal Blood Donation Dip

May 30, 2021, 2:00 PM HST
* Updated May 30, 10:45 AM
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As summer approaches, Blood Bank of Hawaii is preparing for a seasonal blood donation decline that averages about 15% fewer donations, with June typically being the most difficult month to meet collection goals. Unique partnerships with two community organizations, Special Olympics Hawaii and the Hawaii Building Construction & Trades Council, scheduled between June 1 and August 31, will be key to filling that dip.

On June 1, the “Be a Sport. Donate Blood.” statewide campaign launches to raise awareness and donations. When blood donors join Blood Bank’s team of summer donors, they will be saving lives and helping to provide sports equipment and PPE supplies for Special Olympics Hawaii athletes.

People with intellectual disabilities were disproportionately impacted by the social isolation caused by the pandemic. The blood bank’s donations will help Special Olympics Hawaii athletes safely return to play later this year. Special Olympics will kick off the partnership by hosting a blood drive at its Kapolei facility on June 6 between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. A second drive will be held on August 7.

“We are incredibly grateful and excited to partner with Blood Bank of Hawaii on this unique and innovative partnership that will help two local organizations working to improve the lives of our residents,” said Special Olympics Hawaii’s President and CEO, Dan Epstein. “This program will not only play an important part in raising awareness for and encouraging supporters to donate blood, but will also help us prepare to safely return to in-person sports.”

Blood Bank of Hawaii needs 150 to 200 whole blood, plasma and platelet appointments every day to meet statewide demand, but during summer months these goals are adjusted to approximately 4,000 per month. With the beginning of hurricane season and mainland blood centers reporting continued low donor turnout and shortages, Blood Bank of Hawaii is doing everything possible to encourage local resilience and self-reliance to get through the season.

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That’s why Blood Bank of Hawaii is especially grateful to the Hawaii Building and Construction Trades Council for asking how they could help. This summer, all 13 HBCTC-affiliated unions across Hawaii will participate in their “Every Drop Counts – Giving for a Better Tomorrow” campaign. Union members, families and friends will represent their union while contributing to the summer’s blood supply.

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“Blood Bank of Hawaii is an essential organization, and we are honored to support them this summer,” said Gino Soquena, executive director of Hawaii Building & Construction Trades Council AFL-CIO. “Our ohana of unions looks forward to building up Hawaii’s critical blood supply and donating to such a worthy, life-saving cause.”

Although union affiliates can donate at any time or location, HBCTC will host three blood drives on Oahu: June 12, July 17 and August 21 with a goal of securing 160 appointments at each location. All HBCTC union donors will receive a custom T-shirt and their donations will also directly benefit Special Olympics Hawaii.

“We’re honored to partner with Special Olympics Hawaii to help their athletes come back from a most difficult year,” said Todd Lewis, chief operating officer of Blood Bank of Hawaii. “And we can’t thank the HBCTC enough. Their enthusiasm and dedication will make the difference for hundreds of our local patients who will need blood transfusions this summer.”

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On Oahu, donors can make an appointment at one of four locations: Young Street Donor Center, Dillingham Donor Center, or bloodmobiles at Waikele Center and Windward Mall. Blood donors are encouraged to share their teamwork on social media and tag @BloodBankHawaii, using #BeASportDonateBlood for Special Olympics and #EveryDropCountsHawaii to show HBCTC union pride.

Blood Bank of Hawaii provides blood products for the patients of all 18 civilian hospitals. Healthy donors interested in giving blood may register at bbh.org or call 808-848-4770. Appointments are required, and COVID-19 safety guidelines continue to be in place.  

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