MCAGCC TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- A year-long campaign to encourage blood donations from one Combat Center organization concluded Dec. 7, after setting several installation records.
The Marine Corps Communication and Electronics School had established a goal in January to donate 1,000 units of blood by their 12th blood drive of the year, which was held Dec. 7. According to SSgt. Evella M. Smith, career planner and blood drive coordinator for MCCES, they surpassed their goal by 92 pints.
This year has been a record setting one for MCCES' blood drives. MCCES set a "single unit record" of 139 units of blood, which were all given in one day on July 6th, according to Smith.
"Routinely, MCAGCC donates a significant percentage of the total blood donated to the Community Blood Bank Center located in Rancho Mirage, Calif. This donated blood supports both the Coachella and Morongo Valleys, and is sent to seven hospitals-one of which is the Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital-spanning an area from Banning to the Nevada border," said Maureen A. Basham, former director of Manpower, Headquarters Bn., and coordinator for all blood drives aboard MCAGCC.
The blood drives held on base allow servicemembers and family members to all get into the act of donating blood, mentioned Smith. MCCES' blood drives are purely voluntary and happen the first Thursday of every month.
MCCES has done so well with their blood drives that they have scheduled a special drive for spouses and civilian employees on Dec. 28. MCCES hopes to exceed their 1,000-unit goal by receiving 200 more donations. Smith said, "We are hopeful that the battalion will have donated nearly 1,200 units of blood by years end."
"The battalion has done well this year, but we can do even better in the future," said SgtMaj. Ronald P. Genet, sergeant major of MCCES. "1,200 donations is an attainable goal, especially with the professionalism, motivation and esprit de corps that I see within MCCES."
"This is an extremely important cause, and it is beneficial to a wide span of our society," said Basham.
Those who show up and give blood don't go away empty handed. Smith said, "The volunteers may receive stylish hats and t-shirts from the blood bank. The volunteers will also receive a feeling of accomplishment."