The American Red Cross challenged Baker County residents, and they responded.
A two-day blood drive at the Church of the Nazarene on Monday, Nov. 8 and Tuesday, Nov. 9 brought in about 130 units of blood (a unit is about one pint), said Myrna Evans, the local blood drive coordinator.
Red Cross officials had been a bit concerned about adding the second day — most Baker City drives are one-day events — but a flurry of late donors filled most of the available appointments on Tuesday, Evans said.
“People have really stepped up,” she said.
Evans said the Red Cross has had more people express an interest in donating blood during the pandemic, as residents seek to do something to help during difficult times.
“We’ve taken in more units this year than we did last year,” Evans said. “Especially with this drive, this one is a big one.”
Jake Reines, a Red Cross representative, said the organization will consider scheduling more two-day blood drives in Baker City.
“We have a lot of donors that are interested in donating but not a lot of opportunities,” Reines said. “So, it’s something we’re checking into.”
The Red Cross also added one-day drives in October at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Baker City, and at Baker High School.
“There are more opportunities for donors in Baker,” Reines said.
Among the donors, Randy Estes said he read an article about the Red Cross having many appointments for Tuesday’s drive.
He said he had donated blood in the past and decided to do so again on Tuesday.
Dan Lyon said he decided to start donating with this week’s event.
“I think it’s a good idea, I think everybody should do it,” Lyon said.
Robin Harrington said she knows the Red Cross always has a great demand for blood.
“I just wanted to be able to do my part,” Harrington said.
Tamera Pierce said she donates regularly.
“I’m glad I can help somewhat,” Pierce said.
Reines said he felt great about the two-day drive, with support from donors and businesses.
Baker City blood drives for 2022 are scheduled for Jan. 24, April 4, June 13, Sept. 12 and Nov. 14.
Evans said the Jan. 24, 2022, drive is scheduled for one day, but it’s possible the Red Cross will add a second day.