Woman honored for holding dozens of blood drives over the years
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ST. ANTHONY — Donna Howard has been holding blood drives for the American Red Cross every four months since 2013.
It all began when her daughter won Ms. Teen of Idaho. The 16-year-old needed a service project so she coordinated a drive in their hometown of St. Anthony.
“Once she graduated, they called and asked if I would start running them,” Howard recalls. “I thought it was something I can do to help the community and help people in general.”
Since then, Donna has been doing a lot of helping – not just on the day of the drives, but beforehand. She makes calls, posts on social media, invites her friends to donate and isn’t afraid to ask strangers to give their blood.
“It’s pretty fun because this time I called a phone number of a donor and it had been changed. So the guy said, ‘I’m sorry – you have the wrong number.’ So I said, ‘I’ll take it off my list but would you like to donate blood?’ And he said yes and he’s coming today,” Howard says with a smile.
At the end of every drive, she tries to sign up as many donors as she can for the next one. Howard has a goal to collect more than 100 pints of blood at each event this year and has learned that people are willing to donate if they’re just asked.
“We’ve got upwards of 130 people coming today to this drive,” she said on recent Wednesday. “It’s the biggest one in the area besides BYU-Idaho, I believe, and it’s because of the fantastic people here who are willing to share.”
Over the years, Donna has seen donors from all walks of life who just want to make a difference, like Donna has for so many years.
“If you can stand to be a little uncomfortable for a few minutes, you can save a life,” Howard said. “As long as I have my health, then I can serve in the community and help others to serve too.”
If you’re interested in donating blood, you can find more information here.