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Giving blood now fights hunger


HONOLULU — “Give the Gift of Life” has been a long-time slogan of the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i, and has double meaning during this holiday season. Its “Give Blood. End Hunger” holiday campaign was announced on Giving Tuesday.

This year’s campaign involves two community banks receiving the benevolence of individual blood donors — the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Foodbank, whose efforts during the COVID-19 affected thousands of people impacted by the pandemic in ensuring families were able to have food for the table.

Under the conditions of “Give Blood. End Hunger,” for each blood donation made during December, the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i will donate the cost of a meal to the Hawai‘i Foodbank.

“This is one of our favorite ways to give back to the community while expressing our appreciation for the important work of Hawai‘i Foodbank, its staff and volunteers,” said Todd Lewis, Hawai‘i Blood Bank chief operating officer. “Our donors are amazingly generous, and we appreciate them so much.”

The holiday season is particularly demanding for the essential services that both community banks provide, according to the campaign announcement. Currently, Hawai‘i needs between 150 and 200 donations a day.

Campaign coordinators are hoping to generate 4,900 donations for each organization, and are counting on the generosity of blood donors to make this happen. Despite chronic local and national blood-supply shortages over the past few months, this collection goal of 4,923 donations represents 62 more donations than were received during December 2020.

“Give Blood. End Hunger” also underscores the ongoing problem of food insecurity in Hawai‘i, with the Hawai‘i Foodbank continuing to report a more-than-50% increase in food distribution over pre-pandemic levels.

“We’re incredibly grateful to Blood Bank of Hawai‘i for their continued support for Hawai‘i Foodbank,” said Amy Marvin, Hawai‘i Foodbank president and CEO.

“Through Blood Bank of Hawai‘i’s creativity and partnership, Hawai‘i Foodbank is able to provide safe food access to more families facing food insecurity during this holiday season. We extend our gratitude and aloha to Blood Bank of Hawai‘i and their donors for making such a tremendous impact in the community,” Marvin said.

“Give Blood. End Hunger” reaches the shores of Kaua‘i from Dec. 20 through 22 at the Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort in Po‘ipu, and blood donors are reminded that appointments are required by visiting bbh.org, or calling 808-848-4770.

Each donation can save up to three lives.

For more information, visit bbh.org.

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Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or dfujimoto@thegardenisland.com.





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