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Local company holds plasma blood drive to help those fighting COVID-19

Local company holds plasma blood drive to help those fighting COVID-19
Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 19:53:32-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Donations of convalescent plasma have been more important than ever to help the fight against COVID-19. A Colorado Springs company recognized that and kicked off a blood drive today to save lives in our community.

The idea came up after the nationwide company saw thousands of its clients impacted by COVID-19. Although the firm employs nearly 50,000 people, this local effort helped kick off the blood drive in Southern Colorado.

"We've had clients impacted. We've had spouses impacted. We've experienced the loss of life within our family and within our clients," said Jeff Dinkel, the regional manager. "As this escelated, that's what prompted us to take action to help contribute and be a part of the solution."

Dinkel also said the idea sparked after an employee watched a KOAA News 5 story in December, which explaining the benefits convalescent plasma has on a patient recovering from the virus and the how antibodies can help. One fact in particular stuck with him.

"For every donation, every pint donated, helps save three lives," said Dinkel.

Vitalant, a local blood bank, helped 30 employees donate on Thursday morning. A couple of them were Mike Biehl and his wife who both had the virus last month.

"For us we had very mild symptoms, lost of taste and smell was the key note that we knew we had it," said Biehl.

With 30 blood donations today, the company hopes to help 90 people in the community hospitalized with the virus.

"We found it a great opportunity to help give back to the community and donate our blood to see if we have the antibodies to help others," said Biehl. "There's quite a few of us that expressed interest in helping others."

Soon, Edward Jones would like to expand their efforts to other regional offices, and help others in Pueblo and across the country.

"Today's just the tip of the iceberg. Part of our purpose-driven goal was to help support the communities that we live and work in," said Dinkel.

The company services about 21,000 households in southern Colorado. The company is contacting the households to ask if they'd like to get involved and donate blood too.

The company is will be holding a virtual blood drive in February and March, asking the community to donate if they can. Vitalant and American Red Cross will help with donations.