Despite all of the restrictions on leaving home, despite all of the concerns about social distancing, despite of all the health-related fears floating around these days ... the Redwood area blood drive scheduled for this month occurred on schedule, this past Monday and Tuesday (April 13-14) at the Redwood Area Community Center in Redwood Falls.

This was a particularly important blood drive. So many blood drives have been canceled nationwide due to COVID-19 fears, the Red Cross finally had to put out a nationwide alert, begging donors to help replenish the 80,000-plus units of fresh blood hospitals were short at this time of year.

The word got out, and the Redwood area surpassed all expectations.

Donors noticed a few changes this year. Everyone needed an appointment to visit. Everyone needed to have his or her temperature checked before being allowed to enter. Donors were asked to wear face masks.

Usually local volunteers help donors get signed up and enter, or work the canteen for the donors and technicians. This year, the local volunteers – many of them retirees – were asked to stay at home while the Red Cross brought in a few additional technicians to do paperwork.

Despite 38 no-shows and 17 deferrals, the Redwood Falls area exceeded the two-day goal of 233 units, collecting 253 units of blood instead.

What follows are the statistics from the local April blood drive:

• Scheduled donors - 262

• Presenting donors - 222

• First time donors - 10

• Deferrals - 17

• No shows - 38

• Goal - 233 units

• Actual units collected - 253 units

• Power reds - 73 units

• Whole blood - 143 units

Milestones

• First Time Donors - Chelsey Gniffke, Becca Rosenhammer, Christine Schablin, Jennifer Kuehn, Kaleb Haase, Leslie Gonzalez, Kevin Malecek, Jana Malecek, Rebecca Suiter, Laveda Larsen

• One Gallon - Becca Rosenhammer, Haley Dolezal, Dennis Entinger, Teresa Haase, Colleen Danielson, Andy Easley

• Two Gallons - Lois Smith, Lynn Krause

• Three Gallons - Kyle Feldman, Amber Stormo

• Four Gallons - Terri Maguire, Alan Liebl

• Five Gallons - Wade Plotz, Shawn Dixon, Steven Suedbeck

• Seven Gallons - Joseph Salfer, James Estum

• Eight Gallons- Mark Johanneck, Dar Mackenroth, Cindy LaBrie

• Nine Gallons - Chad Draeger

• 10 Gallons- Mark Guetter

• 12 Gallons - Roger Bubolz

• 13 Gallons - Duwayne Zondervan

• 15 Gallons - Glendon Dahmes, Diane Houtkooper

• 16 Gallons - Margaret Cook

• 17 Gallons - Phil Johanneck

• 19 Gallons - Gary Simondet