Blood drive’s lucky 26

The Thanksgiving blood drive at Hood River Elks yielded 82 total pints of blood donated, just shy of the goal of 84, said coordinator Margo Parker.

Among the donors at the American Red Cross event on Nov. 29 was Margo Earley of Mt. Hood-Parkdale, who reached her 26-gallon milestone — though it was the first time she had given at the annual Hood River Elks blood drive.

“I give every eight weeks, and though I don’t do it religiously, to give 208 units you have to be fairly faithful,” said Earley, a retired professional singer who was joined by her husband, George, also a regular donor.

“I usually donate at headquarters in Portland, but I try to time my appointments so they coincide with (donation events there).”

“It’s the only physical thing I can do for other people while I am still alive, without doing harm to myself, to benefit people who are not as healthy as I am,” Margo said.

Her first memory of donating, some 40 years ago, is “vague.”

“I remember we were told to fast before donating, and I got dizzy and I don’t remember if I was able to complete the donation or not, but that was the philosophy.”

Asked how she feels these days after giving, Earley said, “Fine. I don’t feel any effects. If I were to run up stairs I’d feel it, that day, but I go right on with my life.”

“I remember years ago when we lived in Connecticut, a church in Windsor had a blood drive the day after Thanksgiving every year, and George and our two sons would leave four pints of good Earley blood, and we did it for years, and it was part of our family tradition; I was glad to come in the day after Thanksgiving.

“It is my pleasure and privilege to do this.”

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The next Hood River Bloodmobile visit will be Jan. 25 at the Hood River Armory.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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