Pat yourself on the back Maryville. The Community Blood Center says this town is a real life-saver — literally.
At 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the United Methodist Church downtown, Maryville will be recognized for winning the center's Community Star Award. The award means local residents have donated more than 400 units of blood over a 12-month period.
During the ceremony, several "century donors" will also receive recognition.
These are people who during their lives have each given a minimum of 100 units of blood.
According to CBC estimates, at least two lives are saved for every unit of blood collected, which means local donors have given the greatest gift there is, life itself, to between 800 and 900 people over the past year.
The award presentations will be made in conjunction with — what else — a blood drive in the church's fellowship hall from noon to 6 p.m. The event is being sponsored by the Maryville chapter of the Business Women of Missouri.
All donors will receive a Community Star T-shirt. Refreshments are being provided by Walmart and the Maryville Hy-Vee supermarket.
According to blood center staff, the influenza outbreak sweeping across Missouri has created an increased need for blood and blood products at area hospitals and clinics, including St. Francis Hospital & Health Services.
Community Blood Center is the sole-source provider for hospitals in this area and must collect at least 580 pints daily in order to stay abreast of demand.
Center staff members and volunteers are hoping to leave Maryville with at least 144 units following the six-hour blood drive.
To register in advance as a donor, go to www.savealifenow.org and enter the sponsor code maryvillecomm. To sign up by telephone, call Evie Church at (660) 582-2671. Church can also be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any potential donor with medical eligibility questions should call (800) 245-7035.
Those who can't make it to the church next week will have another chance to give blood during a second January CBC drive being hosted by the Student Senate at Northwest Missouri State University.
The collection period will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on each of three days: Tuesday, Jan. 29, Thursday, Jan. 31, and Friday, Feb. 1 in the Tower View Room on the third floor of the J.W. Jones Student Union. All donors will receive a free T-shirt.
Those wishing to donate blood can sign up between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, through Thursday, Jan. 24, on the first floor of the union or register online at www.esavealifenow.org using the code NWMSU.
The Student Senate’s fall blood drive collected a record 268 units, which broke the university's previous record set in 2010 and resulted in the student governance group receiving a Largest Blood Drive Award.