WIESBADEN, Germany – Local nationals were able to donate blood for the first time during an Armed Services Blood Program drive, July 13 and 14 at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden.
The blood drive was the first in Europe where people who have lived on the continent for more than five years could donate.
Local national employees Daniela Kerz and Dagmar Gordon donated blood during the drive July 14. Kerz was on her way to the gym and saw the blood drive and was able to fill in for someone who canceled.
"The reason we did this is because we work for the Soldiers,” Kerz said. “Without them being here we wouldn't have a job. That's why I'm donating here instead of on the economy."
The drive brought in 185 people, 149 of whom were able to successfully donate, said Stacy Sanning, ASBP blood donor recruiter.
“The blood drives were a huge success and will help us continue meeting the needs of forward-deployed troops and patients in military medical facilities,” Sanning said. “This was an historic event for the Armed Services Blood Program, as it marked the first time in decades that many donors were eligible to give blood with us, thanks to the FDA’s wide sweeping eligibility updates.”
Sanning credited the support from the Wiesbaden Red Cross in making the event a success.
“We could not have done this without the dedicated support from your local Red Cross team, especially their awesome leads, Ms. Chris O'Brien and Ms. Kaitee Himmelberger. They worked incredibly hard to spread the word and encourage the community to schedule blood donation appointments. Appointments were key in maintaining physical distancing measures, especially with completely full schedules both days.”
The ASBP reached 149% of their COVID-19 adjusted goal of 100 donations over the two-day blood drive, Sanning said, which translates to up to 477 lives saved or improved.
The blood donated will go to deployed military units, forward and U.S. European Command medical facilities to help service members and families.