Davis Co-op and Community Get Together for a Blood Drive

When I think of the Davis Food Co-op, naturally some of the first things that come to mind are the delicious foods and environmentally sound products I buy there. But I also see the co-op as a crucial supporter of the Davis community, since it seeks to address public needs in many ways--for example, it contributes grants to local agencies via the Davis Cooperative Community Fund.

This impression has been more firmly cemented since I received the newly approved Ends Policies of the co-op board of directors, which clearly states, "We are enriched by the community we make."

Bloodsource, the local blood bank, also seeks to meet a vital community need, namely providing a safe blood supply. It seemed to me, last spring, that the two organizations might be able to cooperate in a life-saving endeavor.

I pitched the idea to one of the co-op's directors, Joan Randall, someone I recognized as a regular pheresis donor. With wonderful enthusiasm, she contacted other board members and membership director Doug Walter to get the ball rolling.

On Sunday, June 29, the Davis Food Co-op hosted its first blood drive by having the Bloodmobile parked in its lot. We scheduled it for late afternoon on a weekend to provide a convenient time for busy weekday workers and to avoid overlapping with the local blood collection site. The staff of the co-op helped to encourage participation, and the managers on duty during the drive made sure everything ran smoothly.

During a mere four hours, 35 members of the co-op and the greater Davis community provided a truly life-saving gift. Enough blood to help up to 90 people was collected by the tireless Bloodsource staff.

We are grateful to everyone who participated in this event, and extend a special thank you to the 16 individuals who gave blood for the first time! Donors enjoyed a goody bag stuffed with samples from Davis Food Co-op vendors, plus a gift certificate provided by Baskin Robbins through its "Pint for a Pint" campaign.

Based on the wonderful success of this event, the co-op plans to run more blood drives in the future. We encourage other co-ops to consider holding their own. Local blood banks throughout the country can provide information about easy ways to host a blood drive.

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