Knights help with blood drive

Published 7:00 am Thursday, September 17, 2015

Picayune first responders will help fill the need for blood donations during a Battle of the Badges hosted by Picayune’s Knights of Columbus Council 6872. Grand Knight Bryan Cassagne hopes the healthy competition between first responders will draw awareness to the importance of donating blood in the community.

The blood drive will be on Sunday from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, located at 408 Carroll St.

“I think it’s a great way to give back to the community. It’s one of our community projects that we do. Donations are low all over,” Cassagne said.

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Members of the Knights of Columbus decided to enlist the help of first responders from the Picayune Fire Department and the Picayune Police Department this year in order to garner more participation from the community, Cassagne said.

The department with the most blood pints donated during Sunday’s blood drive will receive a trophy or plaque. Cassagne said they “hope to make (battle of the badges) an annual thing.”

For the past few years, the Knights of Columbus has partnered with The Blood Center to offer blood drives in the community.

Kristi Garner-Womack, account representative at The Blood Center, hopes around 20 to 25 people donate this Sunday.

Womack said there’s a need for more blood donations. She also said the center is working with the community in order to meet the high demand.

“There are certain times of the year that we run low on certain blood types, so we’re trying to partner with organizations and businesses in the area to increase donations in that particular county. We’ve made some leaps and bounds over the last year,” Womack said.

Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually do each year, according to the American Red Cross website.

During the drive, The Blood Center will hand out free T-shirts. They will also hold a date night drawing where a lucky donor can win two movie passes to Acadiana Cinemas and a gift card to Dockside Seafood.

Food and drinks will be provided during the event, Cassagne said.