For God and Country
Bill Brinlee American Legion Post 102
January-February 2020

Vol. 3 No 4       American Legion Post 102      P.O. Box 416  Valley Springs, CA 95252        Email:

Goodbye to 2019 and
Happy New Year to 2020!

Once again, we’re excited to host the Valley Springs/Calaveras Community blood drives.  Our blood drive venue is visible on the last Tuesday of every other month by the two Vitalant bloodmobiles parked at the Valley Springs Health and Fitness Center.  Mark your calendar, start with the January 28th blood drive.

The genesis of our first blood drive took place in August of 2004 which was initiated to support a local resident with a persistent blood problem. The resident returned from a golf venue with a virus that put his immune system into permanent overdrive. 

His immune system was attacking his newly generated red cells before they could mature enough to carry oxygen to his muscles and organs. In order to sustain an acceptable quality of life he received blood transfusions of two to four pints of blood every other week.  After his blood transfusions he could mow his lawn, play nine holes of golf and sustain a relatively active lifestyle. The availability of blood products was his lifeline! Encouraged by the support of the local community we elected to continue the blood drives.  In order to assure staffing we solicited the sponsorship of the Mother Lode Knights of Columbus and started regular bi-monthly Valley Springs/Calaveras blood drives. Whole blood donors can donate every 56 days. Blood is truly a renewable resource!

We are now in our 15th year and can count 90 blood drives.  During that time 4,310 pints of blood have been collected.
Over the past 15 years we’ve hosted blood drives in support of local patients who had received blood transfusions. One blood drive was for a paratrooper home on leave when he was brutally injured.  He was run over by the large wheel of a road grader. When he healed he returned to service.  Another blood drive was for a local five rear old boy whose life and future was on hold due to being born with a “hole in his heart”.  We heard that after blood supported surgery he is leading a full and active life.  A local housewife and foster parent was terminally ill and she wanted to say goodbye to her friends by hosting a blood drive for her community.  A college student in his final year at college walking to his dorm was seriously injured when he was hit by a truck.  He tells the story that he died three times as they fought to stabilize him.  An active wife and mother of two felt a sudden lost of energy.  Diagnosed with stage four leukemia she endured years of treatment which was supported by blood products.  She is now healthy and actively endorses the importance that blood science played in her recovery. 

less than five percent of the healthy population provides 100% of critical blood products.
(formerly BloodSource) provides blood and blood products to patients in 40 states, serves 1,000 hospitals and health facilities and collects 1.8 million pints of blood per year. Vitalant needs to collect thousands of units per day of donated blood to service these hospitals.

fter 15 years our community effort supported blood products to our Mark Twain Medical Center and provided approximately one day of the blood that Vitalant needs!
Please, we need new and willing donors to join us because we can’t continue to do these good deeds without you!

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