More than 825 lives were saved as the result of blood donations made during AFR-sponsored blood drives last year. The announcement was made during the AFR Women’s Cooperative awards luncheon, Feb. 17. The luncheon was held in conjunction with the annual AFR convention at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Conference Center in Norman.
“This is incredible,” said Crystie Shebester, AFR Women’s Cooperative state council chair, “we are so pleased and overwhelmed by the generosity of Oklahomans.”
The AFR women leaders made blood donations a priority activity in 2017 as many local and county AFR groups and insurance agents sponsored blood drives. AFR partnered with the Oklahoma Blood Institute. As the nation’s 9th largest non-profit blood center, Oklahoma Blood Institute relies solely on 1,200 volunteer blood donors a day to meet the needs of patients at more than 160 hospitals and medical facilities statewide.
A total of 2,475 units of blood were donated in 2017 during AFR sponsored blood drives. OBI estimates for every three units of blood donated, one life is saved.
During the luncheon, awards were presented to local AFR groups attracting the most donations. This included:
1st- Northeastern State University with a total of 200 units donated, sponsored by the Celeste Looney AFR Insurance Agency.
2nd-Elk City with 125 units donated, sponsored by the Crow AFR Insurance Agency.
3rd- Locus Grove Guns & Hoses with 65 units donated, sponsored by the Cowan AFR Insurance Agency
Also recognized for their outstanding blood donation efforts were Gilbert AFR Insurance Agency in Tecumseh, the Miller AFR Insurance Agency in cooperation with the Pushmataha Hospital, and the Brown AFR Insurance Agency in cooperation with Lone Star Elementary school.
An amazing fact of the 2017 AFR blood drives was the response from 172 people who were first-time blood donors.
In addition to local blood drives, AFR also sponsored blood drives during the 2017 Oklahoma Youth Expo and the Oklahoma FFA convention. Practically all donations were from rural Oklahomans.
Serving rural communities is a cornerstone of AFR.
“From our very beginning, more than 100 years ago, we have focused on serving rural Oklahoma communities,” Terry Detrick, AFR president, said. “Improving the lives of rural Oklahomans has always been our priority.”