American Red Cross calls upon the House of Wellness for help

By Tim Wohlers

Our nation needs blood badly.  According to the American Red Cross, donation centers all across the country have seen severe shortages for many months now. 
“Our level of blood this year,” RN Barb Jones said, “has been probably the lowest that I’ve seen.  We’ve been critical longer, this year, than I’ve ever known us to be.” 
So to combat the crisis, Ho-Chunk hosted a blood drive at the House of Wellness in Wisconsin Dells late last month.  The event occurred on Nov. 29, in the facility’s cafeteria.  And to increase the number of donations it would receive, the Red Cross recruited donors prior to the event. 
“They sent me a letter,” tribal member Helene Day said, “to say that I should give blood.” 
Day joined 26 other donors who gave blood that day, to help the Red Cross reach its goal of 30 units. 
 “The Midwest is very good at giving blood,” said Jones.  “That’s why our area is so important.  We’re the Badger Hawkeye region.  And we’re ranked right at the top of blood donors for the whole nation.” 
In hopes of helping, the House of Wellness holds regular blood drives at the tribal facility – seeing that it is surrounded by such a generous population. 
“We have very generous donors in this community area,” said Donor Recruitment Rep Jody Weyers.  “We are one of the largest providers.” 
In other words, our country depends on us to save lives.  Without our donations, hospital patients would have to wait even longer for surgeries that are often desperately needed. 
“Our summers are bad,” said Jones.  “But our inventory even started being low in the spring this year.” 
That low inventory equates to longer delays for recipients.  The only way to alleviate this problem is to stock the shelves. 
“We’re always trying to replenish and recruit,” Weyers said, “so we meet our area hospitals’ [demand].” 
Donation numbers go up around the holidays, Jones stated, as people start to get into the spirit of giving. 
“Thank God for them having those feelings,” Jones said, “because we have a big crowd [on the waiting list.]” 
And thanks to the blood drive, hospitals will not find themselves in such short supply this season.  Interested donors need not wait for the next blood drive, though.  Those who wish to contribute can contact their local Red Cross chapter for more information.