I donít know if you felt it, but there was a tidal wave of feel good vibes resonating through the county last week. Itís evident in the pages of this weekís edition that Holmes County is a community of people and organizations that give.


I donít know if you felt it, but there was a tidal wave of feel good vibes resonating through the county last week. Itís evident in the pages of this weekís edition that Holmes County is a community of people and organizations that give.



As I made my rounds to different events and interviews, I witnessed people donating their time, cash, food and even blood to help others in the local area obtain some of lifeís basic necessities.



I was happy to partake in the OneBlood blood drive on Wednesday with over a dozen county employees who rolled up their sleeves to donate a pint of blood on the Big Red Bus.



The bus looks exactly as the name implies. Itís a commercial sized passenger bus thatís been converted to house a neat little operation for blood collection inside, complete with interview stations and seats where donors settle in to give a pint. Itís impressive what the OneBlood team does in such cramped quarters. Donors enter the bus through one end, where they are greeted with a clipboard full of health questions.



To be frank, some of those questions will make you blush. Itís a very personal questionnaire to help the staff assess the potential donorís overall health and eligibility to donate. Letís just say if you ever got carried away with sex, drugs and rock and roll, thereís a chance you may not be permitted to donate your bodily fluids to another human being.



Once you pass the paper interrogation, itís on to getting your vitals checked. I thought it was cool when the lady checking my hemoglobin told me she received a blood transfusion a few years ago during a cesarean section. She later found out the blood that saved her life was supplied by the company she now works for. 



It was a relief to get into the donation chair after getting through what felt like a very tedious, but necessary round of questioning. The donation seat is where donors get to put their feet up and be treated like royalty as they bleed into a collection bag.



The phlebotomists are great at distracting donors with small talk while they sterilize the spot they intend to insert a rather large gauge needle into your arm that runs a tube from your vein to a collection bag resting on this contraption on the floor that rocks the bag of blood back and forth.



Remember way back in your youth when the nurse at the health department told you the vaccination you were about to get would only feel like a mosquito bite? Well, she lied. Getting the donation needle inserted feels more like your older brother is pinching you while someone runs plumbing into your arm. Iím sure some of that was all in my head. I heard more than one donor say itís okay as long as you donít watch that part. Iíd have to agree.



Itís pretty smooth sailing after that. Once youíre bleeding into the collection bag, the person who just poked you with an enormous needle shifts gears and starts acting more like a flight attendant. He or she will then bring you a snack and a beverage and make sure youíre comfortable for the duration of the bleed.



By the end of my experience, I was very impressed with the OneBlood team. They were all very professional and personable and worked like mad to collect all the blood they could before quitting time. It felt good to hear them say theyíd exceeded their collection goal by two units of blood when the drive ended. 



Thereís a better than likely chance all of that blood collected from Holmes County that day is already inside of different patients that desperately needed it.



After the opportunities to see people line up both to give and receive this week, Iím convinced our community is one that knows how to perpetuate benevolence.



As always, drop me a line at jrich@chipleypaper.com.