On Friday, August 3rd, Briess partnered with the American Red Cross to host our first onsite blood drive. A special thank you to all the employee donors and volunteers who made our first Red Cross Blood Drive a success. At the August event, we had 22 donors, collected 23 pints of blood, and had two “Power Red” donors – this will help save upwards of 60 lives!

Briess employees rallied together and those who were unable to donate brought snacks and a potluck lunch to keep the donors healthy and happy. A team of volunteers also helped with set up, registration and assisting donors at the canteen after they had donated.

Briess employee, Stacey Schneider, shares her story on how blood drives and donors like this have personally impacted her own life.

December 30, 2015 was both one of the best and worst days of my life. I was 33 weeks and 5 days pregnant with Baby #4 when I started bleeding heavily at home. We live 45-minutes to the nearest hospital and could tell quickly things were very wrong. We chose to make the drive ourselves and, outside of me nearly passing out on the way, the trip went as well as expected—thank goodness we didn’t have typical Wisconsin winter weather or blizzards!

I had called my doctor ahead of time, as I knew it was too soon. When we arrived, I was whisked past registration and sent straight to the labor and delivery unit where I found out I was headed in for emergency surgery and would be having our son that night. The flood of emotions in that moment were indescribable. At this point, I was not at all concerned with myself and focused solely on the little one who I knew wasn’t ready to be here. They got me prepped and the Doctor informed me that I would need a blood transfusion as per her best guess I had already lost 2 liters of blood.

I ended up receiving 2 units of blood for which I will never be able to express my thanks and gratitude to the donor who saved both mine and our son’s life. He spent 18 days in the NICU but is now a healthy happy toddler.

I had always had a great appreciation for blood donors before their gift saved our lives.

I would have loved to be able to be a donor at the Briess Blood Drive but unfortunately, I encountered another unexpected twist in this journey called life when I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Malignant Melanoma in April of this year. Due to the diagnosis and although my treatment is complete (I have been clear for almost 3 months now), I was unable to donate due to the Red Cross guidelines of 1-year cancer-free. I was so excited to find out there were opportunities to serve with the blood drive outside of being a donor and would have given the entire day if possible as a small token of thanks for what all those people that day were doing. I look forward to the day when I myself can provide the gift of life for someone and would just like to say again a million thanks to anyone who has ever donated blood.

Stacey Schneider – Recipient of Life Saving Blood Donation

Fastest Draw of the Day

What’s a blood drive without a little friendly competition? The Red Cross staff placed a “scoreboard” on the wall to see who could draw blood the fastest. Out of the gate, the first donor of the day, Jeremy Polar, had his blood drawn at a notable 6 minutes and 7 seconds. Kay Schmitz would slide into the lead by one second. Kay would hold the fastest draw title for another hour before Dawn Schmitz arrived and took the lead and claimed the title of “Fasted Draw” at an impressive 4 minutes and 51 seconds.