Monday, April 25, 2016

Give the Gift of Life by Donating Platelets

Platelets are often referred to as “Liquid Gold.” The blood component is shiny yellow, always in demand – and for patients who need them – priceless.

Some donors have made it their mission to help save lives through the American Red Cross by giving platelets. Donors like John Betzen, of Wichita, Kansas, are committed to doing their part to help patients in need with a dedication that never wavers. Betzen has already reached a major milestone of giving more than 520 blood and platelet donations.

For more than 45 years, Betzen has rolled up a sleeve knowing his donations are helping someone. In August 2011, that someone could have been his granddaughter Sarah. She was born with many complications, including an abnormal opening in her diaphragm. Over several months, Sarah needed surgeries to survive, as well as blood and platelet transfusions.

“Our family is very grateful to those donors who donated their platelets and blood,” said Betzen. “This is not something you can go to the store and purchase. We are certain it helped save Sarah’s life.”

Platelets are a key clotting component of blood often needed by those who are extremely ill such as cancer patients, burn victims and bone marrow recipients. Unlike whole blood, which can be safely donated every 56 days, platelets can be donated every seven days, up to 24 times a year.

“By donating platelets more people can be helped, because you can donate more frequently,” said Betzen. “It makes me feel good to help fill the need.”

Platelets must be transfused within five days of donation. It’s important that eligible platelet donors give as often as possible to help ensure this potentially lifesaving blood product is available for patients whenever and wherever needed.

Schedule an Appointment to Give
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood or platelets. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Girl Scouts visit Greenville Red Cross

The Red Cross in Greenville had some very special guests last week. Girl Scout Troop #1321 came to visit.

Executive Director, Ann Wright, toured the girls around the building stopping at each colorful mural painted by our Red Cross Youth Group.  When stopping at one vintage poster of Clara Barton, the girls enthusiastically recognized the founder of the American Red Cross. Ann gave a brief history on the humble beginnings of The Red Cross as the girls listened attentively.

"The girls are learning about philanthropy and we thought this was a great way for them to earn their Give Back badge," explained Caroline Warthen (Troop Co-leader)

In the spirit of giving and the Girlscout Leadership Experience, the troop presented the Red Cross with a check for $78.75 which was 10% of their profits from cookie sales.

The Girl Scouts of America program gives the opportunity to girls between the ages for 5 -18 years old the opportunity to do big things! 

This program centers on something called the Girl Scout Leadership Experience -a collection of activities and experiences they'll have as they earn badges, sell cookies, go on exciting trips, explore the outdoors, do Take Action projects that make a difference and more!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Dental Assistant Program Accepting Applicants

The Parris Island Dental Clinic, started during WWII in Germany, has hosted the free clinic for 20 years. The free 7-month course is designed to prepare students for a rewarding career in the dental field. Military Identification card holders will once again have an opportunity to participate in this unique program. Applications are now being accepted for classes beginning January 2017 at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.

Red Cross dental clinic at in Portsmouth, England during WWII

There is no fee for the program which includes one week of classroom study followed by 600 hours of chair-side assistance. However, to qualify for this program, applicants must have a military ID card or be a dependent of a service member or retired service member, have a high school diploma or GED, and must be a US citizen. Also, a selective interview and evaluation process will be conducted for admittance. Please note that class sizes are limited to 20 chosen applicants. 

This past January, Lynda Dyer, Dental Assistant Program Coordinator for the Red Cross, congratulated 20 students for completing the classroom portion of the program. The students will now begin their clinical experience by completing 600 hours of chair-side assistance starting in June.

Congratulations to the DAP class of 2016! 
 Alex Thomas, Ingrid Miller, Alisha Smith, Vida Addo, Megan Suto, Adrianne Espinoza, Tara Louis, Lindsay Monaghan, Louis Arroyo, Frank Estabrook and Erika Perez

Instructions:  1) Download forms below 2) Follow instructions on forms to submit

Dap Application
Course Agreement

Any additional questions regarding enrollment, please email

 Photo Credit: National Library of Medicine