Everett blood bank flooded by donors

By Andrew Wineke

Herald Writer

Local people rushed to help in the best way they could Tuesday in the wake of the tragedy — by donating blood.

A line of people streamed out the door all day long Tuesday at the Puget Sound Blood Center, 2703 Oakes Ave. in Everett.

"I just had to be here," said Everett registered nurse MiChelle Moore. "It’s the only place you can do any good in this type of thing."

The wait to donate was three to four hours, with some people being put to work answering phones, which were ringing constantly with others wanting to know how they could help.

To donate blood

  • To make an appointment to donate blood, call 800-398-7888. That number may be busy; be patient. If you need to call the center, the number is 425-252-5132, but use the 800 number to make appointments.

  • The Puget Sound Blood Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday. It is scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, although those hours may be extended.

  • There is another Puget Sound Blood Center at 19723 Highway 99, Suite F, in Lynnwood. That center’s phone number is 425-774-6366. The Lynnwood center is open from noon to 8 p.m. today and Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

  • For more information about donating blood, look at the center’s Web site, www.psbc.org.

  • Michelle Black and Jon Miller came to the blood center to give blood but ended up answering phones.

    Miller, an engineman on the frigate Rodney M. Davis based at Naval Station Everett, was sleeping at home when his wife woke him and told him about the disaster.

    "I showed up to give blood, and they got me answering phones," Miller said. "I asked if they needed any help today."

    After five hours helping with the phones, Miller finally got his interview to determine if he was eligible to donate. Unfortunately, his ship’s worldwide travels made him ineligible to give blood. What’s more, the Davis left port without him Tuesday as part of the almost unprecedented military alert.

    "That’s all right," Miller said. "I was able to help out here and help some people."

    Black said she hadn’t been able to reach a cousin who lives in Manhattan, so she came to the blood center.

    "I just can’t sit still, so I came down here to help out," Black said.

    Ryan Santeford of Arlington was in line at the blood center with a co-worker Tuesday morning. He couldn’t keep his mind on his job with a construction crew working on the new Everett Station transit center.

    "Everyone was kind of crowded around the radio," Santeford said. "We said, ‘Not much going on here,’ so we took off.

    "They were saying that the best way to (help) was either to give blood or send money."

    About 50 people stood in line at noon Tuesday, and every chair in the blood center was full. By 4 p.m., the center had collected blood from more than 100 people, roughly 10 times the usual number the center sees in a day.

    Televisions tuned to news channels were stationed so volunteers could stay abreast of developments as they donated.

    Callers were told that if they came to the center, they could expect a several-hour wait to donate blood. They were told they were welcome to come and wait, or they could schedule an appointment for later, because blood is likely to be needed for weeks to come.

    "Being willing to wait four hours to get a needle stuck in your arm is a pretty impressive thing," Moore said.

    A press release on the center’s Web site said that neither New York nor Washington, D.C., had asked for blood from the Puget Sound area as of Tuesday.

    You can call Herald Writer Andrew Wineke at 425-339-3465 or send e-mail to wineke@heraldnet.com.

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