A blood drive that a recent Butler County Community College graduate wanted to hold in the spring will be held Friday at Clearview Mall.
Kara Whitmire, of Herman, who graduated in May with her second associates degree from BC3, was planning to hold a blood drive to show support for Mandy Walsh, a fellow alum who was being treated for Hodgkins lymphoma.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic put an end to that idea.
“I organized a blood drive back in April, but because of the pandemic it didn’t work out,” Whitmire said.
She didn’t give up on the idea of organizing a blood drive, and hopes this one helps reduce the blood supply shortage that resulted from people not donating due to the pandemic.
“I think it’s needed now more than ever. Not just in our community, but around the world during the current crisis,” Whitmire said. “It’s very timely.”
She convinced businesses to donate gifts for a drawing in which everybody who gives blood Friday is automatically entered. The drive is being held from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the center court of the mall. Everyone who donates will receive a free T-shirt.
Staff from Vitalant, which handles blood drives for Butler Health System, will run the drive.
Whitmire, a musician, is bringing her guitar and piano to perform during the drive.
“I borrowed a sound system. I’ll be performing,” said Whitmire, who performs under the name Kara Rose.
People interested in donating blood are encouraged to contact Vitalant at vitalant.org or 412-209-7000 to register in advance to reduce waiting time at the drive.
People who give blood can receive a free COVID-19 antibody test.
Most people are able to donate blood, but they must be willing, she said.
“It blows my mind how easy it is to send some kindness,” Whitmire said.