Sioux Falls man’s nearly 40 year commitment to donating blood

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 11:14 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - This coming Friday, Dakota News Now is helping to sponsor a blood drive for the Sioux Falls Community Blood Bank.

They tell us given the city’s growth they always need to get donations but this long Memorial Day Weekend always provides the first test: People get hurt and some of them will need blood.

Unless you’re a real fan of Winter, you’re thankful when we emerge from winter to sunny skies and warmer days.

But for the Community Blood Bank, The warm-up means things, for them, are going to get busy.

“We are really in need of those critical blood products so what time of the year it is, it’s Summer. People are out and about. A lot of people are on the roadways.” Dawn Ver Hoeven is with laboratory operations at Avera McKennan Hospital, one of several places in Sioux Falls where donors can come and give blood. “We host a lot of big blood drive events throughout the Summer however we always have our donor rooms open.”

One of those big blood drive events is coming up this Friday at Scheels. It’s called ‘Lend An Arm’ and it is a concept this man is well acquainted with.

“They’ve told me I donated 108 times.” Tom Holmes lives in Sioux Falls and is a retired teacher and since 1985 he has donated blood 108 times. It’s something he learned during that very first donation session that has kept him coming back ever since when a lab tech told him this; “Just so that you know, we had a baby born last night and that’s where your blood is going. that made me realize that this isn’t about me it’s about the people who are going to be receiving my blood.”

And for nearly 40 years that idea has made Tom Holmes a repeated customer. Not for what he can get but for what he can give. “I get done giving blood and i know I’m doing something to help someone. who will never be able to thank me and that’s just fine. Because that’s the best kind of donation to make.”

And while the backer of this Friday’s ‘Lend An Arm’ blood drive want to see as many people as possible, they say should you not be able to make it don’t let that deter you.

“We just really need that ongoing support. if you didn’t get in please reach out, call one of our donor rooms, visit our website, the appointment grid is out there for the donor rooms as well.”, said Dawn Ver Hoeven.

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