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Idaho residents step up to donate blood on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Pearl Health Clinic, a local company with locations across southeastern Idaho, held its first-ever Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event on Monday.

Together with the American Red Cross, Pearl Health Clinic invited members of the community to come to their Ammon office and take the time to donate blood and help better their community.

“Being able to support the community in a meaningful way, especially on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, was something that was really important to us,” said Zak Warren, executive director of Pearl Health Clinic. “We wanted to draw attention to what it means to give back to the community in a meaningful way.”

Like many of the people who attended the event, Warren is a first-time blood donor, and he enjoyed having the opportunity to give back to his community.

Recently, the American Red Cross put out a call for all eligible blood donors to take the time and donate blood, in response to a national blood shortage. This blood shortage helped Pearl Health come up with the idea of using their available space to host a blood drive that the community could participate in.

The community was eager to donate once the opportunity was presented.

“We had people sign up for all 37 available donation slots, in addition to people who were attempting to walk in and donate,” said Colin Waters, the event organizer.

The large turnout reflects a recent uptake in donations that the Red Cross has been seeing after the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the number of blood donations.

“Over the summer we would typically see maybe 20 donations at an event, but today we are expecting to at least get the 37 people who signed up to donate,” said Cole Gregson, an American Red Cross employee who was working at the event.

For Pearl Health, the event was about giving back to the community in a meaningful way, and they won’t stop at just one event. They are looking for ways to get involved in the community and really embrace Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision.

Waters hopes that this event is just a springboard for things to come. Pearl Health plans to continue to use their resources, and they encourage others in the community to do so as well.

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