We count our blessings this holiday season by counting 12 heroes. During the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive” Community Blood Center is honoring 12 “Hometown Heroes” who have defended the region’s blood supply during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic.


Community Blood Center honors many champions of the blood supply during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the brightest light is retired Reid Health Lab Services Director and blood drive coordinator Chuck McGill.

At a time when hospitals were clamping down against the pandemic and prohibiting all visitors, Chuck and Reid CEO Craig Kinyon declared blood collection essential and kept Reid Health open for monthly community blood drives and more.

“It starts from the top,” said CBC account representative Melinda Frech. “When everyone seemed to be cancelling on us and all was so hectic Reid stepped up and said come on in on March 17.  We were going to be on Bloodmobiles since no one could enter Reid. But the day before we were approved to go in and collected 133 products that day.”

Reid CEO Craig Kinyon set an example by donating platelets on St. Patrick’s Day and was among the 173 donors. “If the people that need the blood aren’t helping get the blood, then something is wrong,” said Craig.

“We decided it was much more important for the needs of the community be met, rather than shut everybody out,” said Chuck. “We decided to open up the hospital and let everybody come in and donate. We had very restrictive access to the hospital to keep it safe, but we were able to donate, and everything went well.”

To confidently continue the blood drives Reid introduced outside visitor screening with a questionnaire and temperature check-in station, then escorted donors to the blood drive in Lingle Hall.

“With Chuck and Reid Health’s support we’ve had blood drives through this pandemic we could have never done,” said Melinda. “We used a location, the Reid Pace Center, that wasn’t open yet and they let us in. Thanks to Chuck we started a blood drive at Reid Connersville. We added blood drives on Saturday, and we added COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma drives in November and December.”

The former Reid Memorial Hospital Blood Bank first partnered with CBC in 1974.  Under Chuck’s guidance Reid Health became CBC’s central community blood drive location in the Richmond area. Reid went from hosting six blood drives per year to expanded hours, platelet and plasma collections, and beginning in 2020, hosting all-day, monthly community blood drives.

Chuck has 182 lifetime blood donations. “It always gave me a nice feeling inside whenever I could donate that it would help somebody else,” he said. “Helping other people I guess is what it’s about.”

Declining health forced him to stop donating blood, and to retire from Reid Health earlier than he would have liked.

After leading the fight against COVID-19, the disease would not spare him in retirement.  Chuck, his wife Gwen and son Luke were all being diagnosed with COVID-19. By great fortune, they had relatively mild symptoms and recovered quickly.

Soon after recovery, WHIO-TV and the Ohio Lottery recognized Chuck as an unsung hero of the pandemic, presenting him with a wreath of lottery tickets.

“I was amazed an honored” said Chuck. “I don’t think I’ve done anything heroic or anything special like that. I helped Melinda out the best I could with Reid Health getting blood drives set up and going.”

“Anytime I needed anything I could ask him, and he was right there to help us out,” said Melinda. “He never asks for anything. He does it because he cares.”

CBC is encouraging donations during the “12 Days of Christmas” blood drive now through Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Dayton CBC.  Everyone who registers to donate at the Dayton CBC will receive a Kroger $10 gift card in addition to “Holiday Hero” face mask and “Hometown Hero” t-shirt.  Donors must make an appointment at or by calling (937) 461-3220.


We count our blessings this holiday season by counting 12 heroes. During the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive” Community Blood Center is honoring 12 “Hometown Heroes” who have defended the region’s blood supply during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CENTERVILLE, Ohio – Community Blood Center celebrates the town of Centerville as a collective Hometown Hero because of the way schools, churches, businesses and the community collectively embraced the urgent need for blood donations.

“Everyone I asked for a favor in Centerville, stepped up to help Community Blood Center,” said account representative Donna Teuscher.  “They made sure we could run our drives for all of 2020. Every drive was full, or we added appointments, and they were big drives.  We could not have made it without these critical blood drives. This is a true city of Hometown Heroes.”

Traditional locations at schools, public buildings and businesses shut down and cancelled blood drives. Churches everywhere were suspending services.  But several Centerville churches took cautious steps to continue hosting their own blood drives and welcome others.

Incarnation Parish stepped in to host the Washington Township Fire Department blood drives.  “Incarnation not only gave us space,” said Donna, “They allowed us to increase the hours. We averaged 100 donors per drive and added platelet and plasma collections.”

Centerville Grace Church allowed CBC to use its new gym to host Epiphany Lutheran Church blood drives. The churches co-hosted blood drives every eight weeks.

Fairhaven Church continued it’s Saturday blood drive schedule and extended the hours. The Saturday, March 28 blood drive totaled 102 donors.

“I think because we know that other blood drives have been cancelled, we decided to do it because we know the urgent need,” said blood drive coordinator Rose Massaquoi. “We don’t want to turn down this blood drive. All church activities are cancelled, all services are online. The only thing we’re doing is the blood drive.”

A cornerstone of the community effort was Centerville High School. “Centerville High let us set up blood drives at the school every month,” said Donna. “They also let us hold the Officer John P. Kalaman drive in April.”

“We really have a service mindset in our community,” said Centerville High Principal John Carroll. “This year with being remote, I had to say more no’s than I wanted to. But with the blood drive we knew we could execute. Our kids are phenomenal in the way they want to give.”

Principal Carroll asked Centerville Schools Superintendent Dr. Tom Henderson for approval. “I said we really want to keep the blood drive going, I think it’s important,” said Principal Carroll.  “He said as long as we can keep it safe, let’s do it.”

The Officer John Kalaman Memorial Blood Drive has been a unified show of support for public safety workers ever since the Centerville policeman’s 1998 death in the line of duty. The April 27 blood drive moved from its traditional location at the Centerville Police Department to Centerville High School and was CBC’s only mobile blood drive of the day. It totaled 101 donors and 87 donations.

“We absolutely wanted to keep the Kalaman tradition of the blood drive alive, and for the Kalman family,” said Principal Carroll. “They give scholarships every year, they are a great family and we wanted to support them. They reached out when they heard we were going to host it, and they were so excited.”

Because of restrictions, it was the first time John and Paula Kalaman could not attend.

“It’s tough to stay away,” said Paula Kalaman. “If we had gone, we would have wanted to stay the whole day.  It was the best all around, but it was hard. There will be other years.”

 “It just goes to prove that no matter what the times are, people in our community are caring,” said Paula. “And what better birthday gift than giving someone the gift of life. We got a ton of those gift today.”

CBC is encouraging donations during the “12 Days of Christmas” blood drive now through Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Dayton CBC.  Everyone who registers to donate at the Dayton CBC will receive a Kroger $10 gift card in addition to “Holiday Hero” face mask and “Hometown Hero” t-shirt.  Donors must make an appointment at or by calling (937) 461-3220.


MCCARTYVILLE, Ohio – As “Santa Claus” Jim Goettemoeller pushed back the red sleeve and fuzzy white cuff of his outfit to donate Dec. 22 at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish holiday blood drive, Community Blood Center phlebotomist Daria McGinnis reminded him, “You know we’re going to be testing you for ‘Santabodies.’”

A little chuckle of Christmas cheer was welcome as Sacred Heart hosted its annual holiday blood drive in McCartyville during a pandemic.  COVID-19 restrictions meant no feast of hot food and home-baked cookies in the Donor Café.  Even though Santa made an appearance, he had to limit his visit.

Despite the dark year, the gift of life abounded in McCartyville, boosting the blood supply three days before Christmas. With 194 donors, Sacred Heart registered more than 52% of CBC’s total donors for the day.  It included 153 whole blood donors, 11 platelet/plasma donors, and for the first time in the blood drive’s history, seven COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma donors.

“Typically, it’s known we offer almost a full meal,” said Knights of Columbus blood drive coordinator David Poeppelman. “With the restrictions we couldn’t have open food and no volunteers. Some can’t donate and they want to volunteer to help out. We had to turn people away this year and that was kind of hard for us.”

“I miss volunteering,” said Marcia Bensman, who wore a homemade face mask with pink flamingoes in Santa hats when she donated. “This one is fresh off the presses!”

David and his wife Denise put together CBC gift tumblers with candy and local merchant donated coupons. “It’s a shame we can’t give out sloppy joe’s,” said Denise. “But I think we’re getting a big turn-out.”

“I definitely miss the food,” said Sarah Foltz, a senior at Ohio State. “They always have really good cookies here!” Sarah started donating while at Anna High School and made her 8th donation Tuesday, the equivalent of one gallon.

The humor about “Santabody” testing aside, David said CBC’s free COVID-19 antibody testing helped recruit donors. “A lot of people are interested in that, and it’s very good for helping get people to register,” he said. Donor registrations jumped nearly 8% compared to last year’s holiday blood drive.

“It’s a time of giving and we’re trying to promote the gift of giving,” said David. “It’s important for all of us in the Christmas season.”

Even at Christmas there is no escaping COVID-19.  A common discussion among donors was about family members who had been infected and their difficulties recovering. Even more unique than seeing Santa in a face mask was the opportunity to donate convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Versailles donor Katherine Knapke came to Sacred Heart to make her first CCP donation because all the appointments at the Versailles blood drive were full.

“I knew I had it, I lost my sense of taste and smell,” said Katherine. “All my muscled ached.” An antibody test confirmed her suspicions and made her eligible to donate CCP.  “My mom signed up in Versailles, she had COVID after I did. She knew I wanted to do it.”

Minster donor Brian Barhorst had planned to make his usual platelet donation. Instead, his milestone 150th lifetime donation was also his first CCP donation.

“This fall I had a sinus infection, like I typically have every year,” said Brian. “I got the letter yesterday that I was antibody positive, so I switched today.”

He was joined by Chris Wehner from Houston and Ron Bruns from Anna, all making their first CCP donations side by side.

The 100-year-old jingle bell harness that Jim Goettemoeller wears with his Santa suite barely rustled as Jim completed his 70th lifetime donation, then teased a few friends by handing them a chunk of coal instead of candy. Like everyone, he was disappointed by the pandemic restrictions but happy to keep a holiday tradition.

“It’s giving joy, said Jim. “Giving joy to everybody… and to anybody.”


DAYTON, Ohio – Make it your mission in 2021 to help save lives by donating during the “New Year’s Resolution Blood Drive” now through Dec. 31. at the Dayton Community Blood Center, 349 South Main St.

Everyone who registers to donate at the Dayton CBC now through Dec. 31 will receive a Kroger $10 gift card, the new “Holiday Hero” face mask and the December “Hometown Hero – Give Local, Save Local” long-sleeve t-shirt. Make an appointment at or call (937) 461-3220.

CBC reminds donors they are “Hometown Heroes” because the blood they give stays in the CBC region, supplies CBC’s partner hospitals, and helps save the lives of their neighbors.

The traditional challenges of the holidays season and the arrival of winter are far greater this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The surge in coronavirus cases has resulted in multiple businesses and high school blood drive cancellations. Blood drives that have remained on schedule are operating at reduced capacity.

Donate COVID-19 Plasma on Sundays: The surge in coronavirus hospitalizations has created peak demand for COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma for the immediate treatment of critically ill patients. In response, CBC is now scheduling CCP donations on Sundays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dayton CBC Donation Center, 349 S. Main St.

All registered CCP donors receive Kroger $25 gift card and the “COVID-19 Crisis Warrior” t-shirt. Potential CCP donors must have tested positive for COVID-19 by the RNA swab test or antibody blood test and must be free of all symptoms for 14 days. First-time convalescent plasma donors must have proof of positive test and should register at or call (937) 461-3220. If you have previously donated convalescent plasma with CBC please make an appointment at or call (937) 461-3220.


FAIRBORN, Ohio – Students were at home and the hallways empty at Fairborn High School on Thursday morning, Dec. 17. But Principal Brian McKnight delivered the Christmas cheer in his bright candy cane print suit, and Universal 1 Credit Union delivered the $1,000 check to present to the Fairborn Fish charity in the annual Fairborn-Stebbins Unity in the Community campaign.

Fairborn and neighboring Stebbins High have taken part in the Community Blood Center/Universal 1 Credit Union “Unity in the Community” campaign since 2018.  The rivals each host a CBC blood drive and alternate choosing a local charity for the $1,000 Unity Award sponsored by Universal 1. 

The Stebbins and Fairborn High Unity blood drives were completed Feb. 27 and March 3, just before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, forcing suspension then cancellation of all classes and school activities.

Their blood drives totaled 116 donors, 59 first-time donors and 88 units donated. It was Fairborn’s year to choose the charitable cause as the recipient of the $1,000 Unity Award, and they picked their favorite charity, the Fairborn Fish food pantry.

The award presentation would normally take place at halftime of the Fairborn-Stebbins rival basketball game, but in a season limited by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, only family members attend games.

Mary Cook and Sam McLain brought the giant $1,000 Unity Award check to Fairborn High School to present to Jane and Bill Doorley, managers of Fairborn Fish.

“It’s a great project,” said Jane. “We are seeing an increase in need so this will help a lot. We anticipate some 200 people tomorrow.” The pantry planned a holiday gift day, and knew it would draw even more people in need of food and shelter.

“A lot of people are sharing spaces, are homeless, or are pulling up in cars together,” she said.

Principal Brian McKnight tries his best to keep up the spirits of staff and students during a difficult time. His candy cane suit was just one outfit. He also dressed as the main character in the popular holiday movie “Elf” and got rave reviews.

“We’re happy when our kids are here,” said Brian. “It presents a lot of challenges, not having kids in the building. We’re hoping to have them back as soon as possible.”

They also hope to resume their blood drive schedule. “The plan is for Feb. 11,” said blood drive coordinator Laura McCabe. “That’s what we’re planning!”



We count our blessings this holiday season by counting 12 heroes. During the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive” Community Blood Center is honoring 12 “Hometown Heroes” who have defended the region’s blood supply during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic.


FAIRBORN, Ohio – The Wright State Raiders are “Crisis Warriors” and “Hometown Heroes.” The Nutter Center has staged blood drives throughout the pandemic and Dec. 1 hosted its first “Crisis Warrior” drive for COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma, a blood product in peak demand at area hospitals for the treatment of critically ill coronavirus patients.

CBC account representative Cora Johnson nominated WSU and Marketing Manager Misty Cox as “Hometown Heroes” for holding blood and plasma drives at a time of great caution.

“Wright State University did not allow blood drives on campus because of COVID-19,” said Cora. “When I contacted Misty, who is the event coordinator at the Nutter Center, she worked with me to set up two blood drives on Bloodmobiles a month apart.  Then when I contacted her about a CCP drive, she worked with me to set the drive up inside the Nutter Center, with just three weeks to prepare.”

Before the pandemic, the Student Union hosted the WSU blood drives.  With indoor gatherings off limits, the blood drives were going to be cancelled.

“Cora reached out and we figured that it was the safest way to do the Bloodmobile in the parking lot,” said Misty. “I basically reached out by putting out an email blast together with the information and it went from there.”

“We wanted to help as many people as we could. We knew there were blood shortages and we wanted to do our part and help out, not just to help COVID-19 patients but all hospital patients in need of blood as well.”

Outbreaks of COVID-19 cases became common on college campuses as classes resumed in the fall. Wright State was among those who saw the opportunity to encourage recovered students to donate COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma.  WSU hosted a plasma drive and took the rare step of allowing an event in the Nutter Center.

“We decided to do the COVID-19 Warrior plasma drive indoors because we thought it would be low risk because the people coming to donate had already had COVID-19,” said Misty.  “We are not doing many events indoor, at the Nutter Center, and very few on campus. We’re still having men’s basketball games, but no fans.”

Classes resume Jan. 11 at Wright State with a hybrid schedule of in-person and remote learning. “We’re shooting for another CCP plasm drive in early February, with approval,” said Misty. “We’re hoping to get that and have more time to promote it, and hopefully get more donors this next time.”

CBC is encouraging donations during the “12 Days of Christmas” blood drive now through Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Dayton CBC.  Everyone who registers to donate at the Dayton CBC will receive a Kroger $10 gift card in addition to “Holiday Hero” face mask and “Hometown Hero” t-shirt.  Donors must make an appointment at or by calling (937) 461-3220.


We count our blessings this holiday season by counting 12 heroes. During the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive” Community Blood Center is honoring 12 “Hometown Heroes” who have defended the region’s blood supply during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic.


FAIRBORN, Ohio – The COVID-19 pandemic turned “normal” upside down and mocked our routines. Community Blood Center’s most established community partners were suddenly unable to host blood drives or had to greatly reduce capacity.

New blood drives were needed, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Fairborn stepped forward. CBC account representative Cora Johnson nominated the church and Communications Director Karen Young as a “Hometown Heroes.”

“During the beginning of the pandemic when everything was closing down, Karen reached out to me and asked if they could sponsor a blood drive,” said Cora. “I told her how desperate we were because of all the cancellations so she reached out to their church wards in Beavercreek and Huber Heights and they hosted blood drives at all three of locations.”

“We do this because we believe in Jesus Christ and we want to serve him,” said Karen. “We are always looking for places to serve in our community. I heard on the radio there was a desperate need for blood during the pandemic, so I called and spoke to Cora and she set it up.”

Karen said the church was reassured when Cora explained CBC safety procedures that matched their own restrictions. “We’re not allowed to have more than 25 people in the building because of the pandemic,” she said. “It was a perfect fit for what we had in place for our space.”

The Fairborn church held its first blood drive on Sept. 1 and topped 116% of goal with 34 donors, including 21 first-time donors.  It was just the beginning.

“Then when I had a cancellation in December,” said Cora, “I reached out and she agreed to have another blood drive and to continue to partner with CBC throughout 2021.”

The Dec. 2 blood drive topped 112% of goal with 36 donors, and the church has six blood drives scheduled for next year.

CBC had found a new partner, and the church had discovered a new way of helping. “We like to be out in different places, but haven’t been able to with the pandemic,” said Karen. “This fit. We jumped at the opportunity.”

The Fairborn church spread the word to area churches through their Facebook pages and the JustServe website for non-profit services and involved the church youth programs.

“They are geared for our youth to learn the joy of service,” she said. Many of our youth that were old enough donated blood. We also used our young missionaries to hand out the refreshments. They love to serve our community.”

“I was amazed at the people in our church and others in the local areas that signed up!” she said. “It’s such a wonderful way to give back to our area.”


DAYTON, Ohio – We count our blessings this holiday season by counting 12 heroes. During the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive” Community Blood Center is honoring 12 “Hometown Heroes” who have defended the region’s blood supply during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic.


We began to grasp the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic last spring when schools began closing. Classes were suspended for weeks, then months as the closings came like dominoes. Schools went to remote learning, and all high school blood drives were cancelled.

Schools re-opened cautiously in the fall. Closings and hybrid schedules followed as coronavirus cases surged. The fall high school blood drive schedule was tentative, with many cancellations or reduced capacity.

CBC Logan County account representative Nicole Thruston thought of all those challenges when she nominated small but mighty Indian Lake High School as a “Hometown Hero.”

“They knew that we needed blood, so they extended the hours of their blood drive to a six hour mobile and invited the community to come to the blood drive,” said Nicole. “They promoted around town and had an amazing blood drive!”

Nicole depended on the help of blood drive coordinator Deb Metzger, the Indian Lake High School Media Aide and SADD advisor.

“Our school sponsors two blood drives a year,” said Deb. “Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) sponsors the fall blood drive. National Honor Society (NHS) sponsors the spring blood drive.”

The March 3 NHS totaled 70 donors, including 19 first-time donors. “We gathered our goal of 70 units,” said Deb. “Less than two weeks later, the school and nearly everything was shut down because of COVID-19.”

“Once we returned to school in the fall, our ILHS SADD officers felt it was important to continue with plans for the November blood drive,” said Deb. “News of blood drives being cancelled and a dwindling blood supply prompted us to see how we could help. 

“Fortunately, our administration was wonderful and very supportive, so we faced no difficulties preparing for the event.  We added two hours for the drive, put the word out and we had a very good response from students, staff, and community.”

The Indian Lake Nov. 6 blood drive totaled 61 donors, including 23 first-time donors and reached 101% of collection goal.

“We are so proud of how everyone working together, and we were able to meet our goal,” said Deb. “Thank you to everyone who had a part in the blood drive and made it such a success.  Laker Proud!”

CBC is encouraging donations during the “12 Days of Christmas” blood drive now through Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Dayton CBC.  Everyone who registers to donate at the Dayton CBC will receive a Kroger $10 gift card in addition to “Holiday Hero” face mask and “Hometown Hero” t-shirt.  Donors must make an appointment at or by calling (937) 461-3220.


SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Santa Clause has a light-hearted job that does occasionally require some heavy lifting. That’s especially true in this Christmas season of COVID-19. Just ask Santa and Springfield blood donor John Fleeger.

John came dressed in his full Santa outfit to make his 205th lifetime donation Dec. 14 at the Maiden Lane Church of God monthly Springfield community blood drive.

The gift of life abounded at the blood drive. John was one of 59 whole blood donors, plus 15 platelet and plasma donors, and two COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma donors.  A new way to save lives this season is for people who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their plasma for the treatment of critically ill coronavirus patients.

The pandemic has brought many challenges. John has remained healthy, but COVID-19 has been bad for business.  His tent and awning company has suffered because of so many cancelled festivals, weddings and other large gatherings.  The Santa business has been even worse.

“Last year I worked as Santa at the Woodland Lights in Centerville,” he said. “I think had the bulk of the nights. That was all cancelled.”

He has kept Christmas cheer by volunteering to appear as Santa at some small, charitable events.  Donating at Maiden Lane seemed like a good way to brighten the blood drive for Maiden Lane donors and make his own regular blood donation.

It was necessary to add a face mask to his Santa attire and John owns several.  He chose a bright red mask with a frosty white beard design to donate, and it couldn’t contain all the natural gray whiskers sprouting below his chin.

He does have his Santa memories to keep him warm this holiday season. For example, he’s been the official Santa at two Christmas surprise marriage proposals.

“Somebody from the family gave me the heads up,” he said. “The family was crowded into the cabin at Woodland Lights. He pulled out the ring and proposed and they all got family pictures with Santa.”

The next proposal took even more planning. “The other guy put in his own lights,” he said. “When he pulled out the ring and proposed to her, they lit up, ‘Will you marry me?’”

Sometimes playing Santa comes with scare. It was SICSA pet night at the Santa display when he was confronted by three pit bulls. “I thought, ‘Oh, so Santa is going to be a chew toy!’”

John first played Santa while serving in the Air National Guard. “Santa would arrive in the cockpit of an F-16,” he said. “We backed up to the hanger and the kids would be there waiting for presents.”

But he also has fond memories of a simpler mode of Santa transportation from a Christmas past. “I’ve been on firetrucks,” he said. “But I always remember being on a horse-drawn sled many years ago.”

After donating there was no springing up the chimney for John.  He left quietly, crossing through the dark to his vehicle in the parking lot.  But in this classic appearance as Santa, he disappeared into the night leaving behind a priceless gift for someone in need of a Christmas miracle.



We count our blessings this holiday season by counting 12 heroes. During the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive” Community Blood Center is honoring 12 “Hometown Heroes” who have defended the region’s blood supply during the dark days of the COVID-19 pandemic.


ENGLEWOOD, Ohio – JD’s Old Fashioned Frozen Custard means summertime in Englewood, even in the summer of COVID-19.  JD’s had pints of custard for donors but couldn’t host the 15th annual “Give a Pint, Get a Pint Blood Drive.”

As so often during the pandemic, Rev. Mark Ballard and Fairview Brethren in Christ Church were there, rock solid, in a time of need.

JD’s and neighbor Fairview Brethren usually co-host the blood drive at both locations. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the June 25 blood drive took place only at the church. The promise of a free pint helped motivate 116 people to donate.

It’s an example of why Community Blood Center is honoring Rev. Ballard and Fairview Brethren as one of 12 “Hometown Heroes” in the “12 Days of Christmas Blood Drive.”

CBC needed the JD’s blood drive to help boost the blood supply during the challenging July 4th holiday period. Hospitals were also returning to higher usage as Ohio reopened from the COVID-19 shutdown.

Fairview Brethren made extra space for the blood drive by moving the platelet donor beds next to the pews in the main church.

“We can do it every time, if it helps,” said Rev. Ballard, whose church normally hosts six CBC blood drives per year.  They shifted to monthly blood drives in the spring when the Northmont community blood drives were cancelled. “That’s what we’re here for,” he said.

“Mark is a wonderful friend to everyone at CBC,” said CBC account representative Melinda Frech who nominated Rev. Ballard and Fairview as “Hometown Heroes.”

“When everyone was canceling mobiles, he was opening his doors wider for us to come in,” said Melinda. When another community drive closed, he let us do our drives there monthly with no hesitation.  He opened up the church for the platelet and plasma machines.  He is also a wonderful donor for us.”

Mark donates whole blood and plasma and currently has 193 lifetime donations.

“It stems back to why I started giving blood 32 years ago,” Rev. Ballard said.  “My daughter was born with a heart condition and she needed blood. She had surgery at day one of life, another at three months, open heart at nine months.  She’s now doing well.

“I started giving then, and as often as I can since. I know it’s necessary.  It doesn’t matter what’s going on in this world, and that includes a pandemic. The church needs to be on the front line.”

CBC also honors church administrator Deb Logan, a dedicated donor and regular blood drive volunteer. When Fairview added platelet and plasma donations in 2019, she scheduled herself to give platelets.

“Mark and Deb always greet you with a smile,” said Melinda.

“Deb and I handle it,” Rev. Ballard said of taking COVID-19 precautions at blood drives.  “We haven’t had an issue with the church people about that. If you’re doing the right thing, according to our faith, I believe God is going to take care of the rest.

Church members do look forward to food restrictions being lifted. “We used to have folks make homemade cookies,” he said. “They ask, ‘Can we make cookies yet? No – not yet!”

As the pandemic continues, so will Fairview blood drives. “What’s the best way we can help?” said Rev. Ballard.  “This is one of the only things we can do. We’re doing as much as we can. It’s a great privilege.”

CBC is encouraging donations during the “12 Days of Christmas” blood drive now through Saturday, Dec. 26 at the Dayton CBC.  Everyone who registers to donate at the Dayton CBC will receive a Kroger $10 gift card in addition to “Holiday Hero” face mask and “Hometown Hero” t-shirt.  Donors must make an appointment at or by calling (937) 461-3220.