JULY 8, 2015

State Library and United Blood Services team up for summer

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PHOENIX – The Arizona State Library and the United Blood Services are teaming up to spread the word about summer reading programs throughout the state and to encourage blood donations. 

Libraries statewide are participating in the State Library’s summer reading program. Reading at least 20 minutes a day keeps the brain exercised and helps prevent “summer slide” or the loss of reading skills during summer break. Readers of all ages may participate in the online summer reading program by logging their minutes read at www.azsummerreading.org.

Participants in the program can earn virtual badges by attending special library events, participating in community experiences and completing reading challenges. Signup for summer reading online and look for the “Find the Hero in You!” badge.

“The theme for this year’s summer reading program is ‘Every Hero Has a Story,’” said Secretary of State Michele Reagan, whose office manages the State Library. “It is important for people to know they can be a hero through blood donation.”

Summertime is one of the slowest seasons for blood donations and libraries are working with United Blood Services to educate the community about the importance of donating blood and blood health. There are many heroic stories about patients who are alive today because of blood donors. Stories like Mia, an Arizona 12-year-old who depends upon blood donors to provide lifesaving transfusions every month – a need that is expected to continue the rest of her life.  She was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, a rare disorder that prevents her body from producing red blood cells. 

“Mia is alive today because of people who donate blood,” said her mom, Kristi.  “Our family is beyond thankful to everyone who takes the time to simply donate blood.”  Mia has already relied on the generosity of more than 120 blood donors.

The Mesquite branch library in Phoenix hosts quarterly blood drives. “People donating blood to benefit complete strangers in what might be their most dire point of need is a heroic act,” said Tom Gemberling, Mesquite Library Manager. “We always have a full house for our blood drives and several of the donors are library employees.”