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Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood or platelets, according to the Red Cross.
Irene Haws with the Topeka Lions Club noticed that there was a blood shortage issue within the Topeka community, as well as the nation, so she created the ‘Celebrate Community’ Blood Drive.
It costs no money to donate and you do not need an appointment. However, if you want to make it easier on the staff running the drive, you can scan a QR code on the poster of the event. It will then take you to a page where you can secure an appointment time to donate.
With the help of other sponsors like the Topeka Rotary Club and Optimist, Haws put together the blood drive happening at 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. It’s all happening at the Fairlawn Plaza Mall, located at 2114 SW Chelsea Drive in Topeka.
Celebrate Community Blood Drive - a combined service project by Topeka Service Clubs organized by Lion Irene Haws of the Topeka Lions Club.
Service Clubs International Presidents encouraged local clubs to work Together.
Pictured: Lion Robin Bonsall donating blood and both Irene Haws and Robin Bonsall.
Good morning Irene Haws,
You really outdid yourself. Our collection staff was so impressed with how organized and well put together the drive was and the donors all came in on time and we had just the most smooth and easy blood drive one could imagine.
At your Friday, February 3, 2023 blood drive the Community Blood Center staff registered 43 volunteers and collected 39 units of blood, 4 units more than our projection which was 35 and 14 more units than the 25 unit minimum! You really knocked it out of the park. I couldn’t be more happy. You really are not a woman to be messed with when you set your mind to something! All the outreach to the organizations, outreach to media, getting on tv, it all made a huge difference. In the end we beat our goal, on a Friday no less which isn’t always easy, and saved upwards of 117 local lives.
I have to say thank you again for all your hard work, you really blew me out of the water with how well this drive went. Your connections and go-getter attitude were crucial to turning out donors.
Please let me know how you would like to proceed from here. You have already done all the hard work at this point of finding donors, setting up your account, learning this process, and the like. If you want to do this drive again next February we can start looking at dates right now and it will move 10x faster next time around. Let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to talking to you soon.
Thanks for helping us save lives,
Guy Niederhauser, A+
Phone (816) 210-6801
Celebrate Community, a joint initiative of the four major volunteer service organizations, with a focus on local community service.
Lion Irene Haws knew it would take some time to organize a first time event . The Topeka event was held later, in February of 2023 and also included Civitan and Sertoma Clubs.
Over the past few years, the four major service club organizations (Kiwanis, Lions, Optimist and Rotary) have been meeting regularly to share ideas and identify opportunities to collaborate in the areas of Environmental, Food Insecurity, and Health & Wellness. We encourage you to organize a project that fits the needs of your community and the interests and talents of your members. Consider ways to team up with other service clubs.
“We have so many common goals and objectives,” said Peter Mancuso, 2021-22 Kiwanis International president. “The Celebrate Community initiative is one way to join together to work on a project that will have a measurable impact on communities around the world.”
“We can help the world recover in this time of need when many are still struggling,” said Douglas X. Alexander, 2021-2022 International President for Lions Clubs International. “If we let our passion for service shine through, there is absolutely nothing we can’t accomplish together.”
Patsy Garner, 2021-2022 Optimist International President, supports the effort to encourage all service clubs working together to help their communities. “Now, more than ever, collaboration is needed. Resources can be scarce and a joint effort could make a far greater impact in our communities than a single act."
Clubs are encouraged to work together on projects such as health and wellness, food insecurity and hunger, education and literacy and environmental projects. Efforts could include community cleanups, food donations and distributions, walks or runs to raise money for specific causes and collecting books to help children build personal libraries. Clubs should follow all local guidelines for meetings and gatherings. Clubs that involve youth participants should follow organizational youth protection guidelines. A full list of ideas can be found here.
All four of the leaders said this initial effort is a springboard to the future — they envision an annual project in which all the clubs around the world collaborate and bring their youth clubs along, too. The joint project also allows community members who are serving in different clubs to learn more about each other, their organizations and their combined efforts to help children and adults who are challenged by environmental or financial difficulties.
About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.4 million members of more than 36,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.
About Kiwanis: Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs, including Circle K International for university students, Key Club for students age 14-18, Builders Club for students age 11- 14, K-Kids for students age 6-12 and Aktion Club for adults with disabilities, annually dedicate more than 18.5 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children. The Kiwanis International family comprises more than 537,000 adult and youth members in 85 nations and geographic areas. Visit kiwanis.org for more information.
About Lions: Lions Clubs International is the largest service club organization in the world. More than 1.4 million members in over 48,000 clubs are serving in 200 countries and geographic areas around the globe. Since 1917, Lions have strengthened local communities through hands-on service and humanitarian projects, and we extend our service impact through the generous support of our Lions Clubs International Foundation. We are focused on supporting vision, the environment, childhood cancer, hunger, diabetes, and other pressing humanitarian needs to help address some of the biggest challenges facing humanity. For more information about Lions Clubs International, visit lionsclubs.org.
About Optimist: Optimist International, founded in 1919, is a service organization serving youth and communities around the globe. It has nearly 70,000 adult and youth members in more than 2,500 clubs in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and many other nations throughout the world. Carrying the motto “Bringing Out the Best in Youth, in our Communities, and in Ourselves,” Optimists conduct positive service projects that reach more than six million young people each year. To learn more about Optimist International, please call (314) 371-6000 or visit the organization’s website at www.optimist.org.