St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus offer blood drive, COVID antibody testing

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  • St. Mary's Knights of Columbus
    St. Mary's Knights of Columbus
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St. Mary’s Catholic Church Knights of Columbus Council 9765 will host their next blood drive on the weekend of Dec. 19-20 at the St. Mary’s Holy Family Center, 310 W. San Antonio St.

“Everyone in the community is invited to make a donation appointment,” a spokesperson said. “The Christmas season is the perfect time to give the gift of life, especially as the need rises due to accidents and illness.”

Also at this upcoming blood drive will be testing for COVID-19 antibodies, with the test results available online to the donor within a few days of the drive. Those whose blood contains COVID-19 antibodies may be eligible to become convalescent plasma donors for current seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

Donors must be “in good general health,” the spokesperson said.

“There is no age limit,” the spokesperson said. “Even most people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer survivors can usually donate.”

The required age is 17, or 16 with a parent consent form. Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds (or 120 pounds if 16 years old).

Donors are recommended to have an iron-rich meal and hydrate prior to donating.

For questions about eligibility, call South Texas Blood and Tissue at 210-757-9505.

To ensure social distancing and minimize donor wait times, this drive will be “by appointment only.”

Appointments are available every 15 minutes from 3-7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 19, and every 15 minutes from 7:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 20.

Donors can go online to make an appointment at www.southtexasblood.org, selecting “Give Now”, and finding the Fredericksburg drives on Dec. 19-20.

Appointments can also be made by calling or texting Michael Tatsch at 361-658-7399.  Answers to questions can also be found on the website or by calling Tatsch.

Donors are asked to complete the donor prescreening form online at www.southtexasblood.org/donordoc. This form can only be completed on the day of donation.

Once complete, donors should bring a printout or screenshot of the form’s barcode to the drive.

This online screening is optional. Anyone who doesn’t complete it beforehand will do a normal screening with the staff at the blood drive.

Donors are reminded to bring a photo ID and wear a face covering.

The St. Mary’s Knights have been holding regular blood drives for 14 years.

“This tradition began in 2007,” Tatsch explained, “when Bobby Sagebiel began working with the military communities in San Antonio and Killeen to collect blood for wounded warriors, collecting 2,883 units of blood from our generous Fredericksburg community.”

In the last five years, the local Knights of Columbus group has collected an additional 1,750 units of blood.

“Since each unit of blood can help save the lives of up to three people, these donations from our Fredericksburg community have likely helped nearly 15,000 people,” Tatsch said.

The Knights hold three drives each year, in April, August and December, and want to grow these drives by opening them up to the rest of the community.

“These blood drives are just one aspect of the charitable work by the Knights of the St. Mary’s Council, who support over 50 local causes each year,” Tatsch said. “The St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus are grateful to the parishioners of St. Mary’s and the entire community  for their unwavering support of this effort for so many years.”