Reid Hospital is a busy place at holiday time, and the number of beds filling up with flu patients is not helping make the season bright. But hospital staff members followed their hearts – and their noses – to the Community Blood Center (CBC) blood drive in Lingle Hall Friday, Dec. 19 so they could help save lives and stir their spirits with a free Warm Glow Candle.
A high admittance of flu patients had put Reid on “critical bed status,” a situation that can mean longer hours for staff. Reid blood drive coordinator Chuck McGill and CBC Richmond account representative Melinda Frech juggled the appointment calendar, hoping to fill slots left open by staff members too busy to donate.
Despite the challenges, 122 registered to donate Friday, including 18 first-time donors resulting in 97 blood donations for 93 percent of the collection goal.
“We’re not adding shifts,” McGill said about the extra patients and work load coming at holiday time, “but sometimes we just don’t send people home right away!” he said. He then scheduled himself for his own blood donation, after picking out a “Maple Hot Toddy” scented candle to take home to his wife at the end of the blood drive and another long day of helping save lives.
Warm Glow Candles are hand poured in Centerville, IN and feature what the company describes as, “our timeless primitive, lumpy bumpy exterior, and provides a beautiful glow to any room when burning.” Rows of Warm Glows in multiple colors filled a table in the Donor Café area. Donors migrated to the table to circle and sniff each candle like bees drawn to nectar.
“I like the cake smelling one,” said Stacy Eggers Huffman, a nurse on the cardiac floor. “It smells like you’ve been in your kitchen all day baking, even though you haven’t done anything!” “I like the cake smell – same reason,” agreed fellow cardiac nurse Julie Rothert.
Donors Berta Buckland and Jenna Childers, co-workers in the hospital purchasing department, had a similar conversation. “What did you get?” asked Jenna. “The cake,” said Berta. “I think this is the same one. I’ll smell it and see.”
Krista Schneider, who works in the hospital lab for blood drive coordinator Chuck McGill, made her 14th lifetime donation Friday. “I’m actually off today but I came in to donate,” she said. Asked how she decided on the “Chocolate Bing Cherry” scented candle, she held it to her nose and said, “I went like this!”
Ben Willet from the urgent care department, who also made his 14th lifetime donation Friday, said he would try to choose a candle for his wife. Ben tries to donate at Reid two months. “We have a good following here,” he said.
Reid staff members support six blood drives per year and that dedication encouraged nursing care assistant Maranda Carpenter to make her first lifetime donation at the Friday’s final blood drive of the year. “I planned on it,” she said. “I work on the cancer floor and see a lot of people getting blood. I see it so much. I wanted to be part of that.”