By GREG RUSSELL, Register Staff Writer
Valley View —
Local efforts both recent and upcoming are hoped to help supply the city of West with resources following an explosion at the city’s fertilizer company that claimed 15 lives, reportedly injured more than 160 people and brought havoc to more than 150 buildings.
Those resources include donated blood platelets, which residents have a chance to contribute on Wednesday, May 8, at North Texas Medical Center (NTMC).
Patsy Hacker of Gainesville’s RE/MAX realty company said her office nearly sponsored its own blood drive for West survivors before a decision was made to consolidate efforts with NTMC and let the hospital formally host the Carter BloodCare drive from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We just want people to come out,” Hacker said Wednesday. “We’re challenging our customers and others to come out.”
The most recent local success in resource gathering involves efforts in Valley View by officials at steel tank company Hyper Head LLC, which amassed roughly 1,000 pounds of non-perishable supplies for West victims during late April.
Official Barb Baker said ample donations of clothing, toiletries and water filled three large pallet boxes set for shipment to West on Friday.
“Everyone’s been great,” Baker said Wednesday. “And people are going into dollar stores to buy new things and bring them up here.”
Baker said the request for donations resulted in a turnout much greater than expected in the relatively small community of Valley View.
“It’s an amazing thing; I even had a lady call me who was moving from Valley View and was moving down south,” she said, adding that the woman donated much of her own furniture and kitchen goods. “I thought that was amazing, because she could have easily had a garage sale to get rid of her own stuff, and then she just donated it.”
A majority of the donated items were gathered by Hyper Head between April 22 and April 26. But Baker explained that officials in West, recently in contact with the Valley View organizers, requested they wait a few days before sending anything to maximize the effect of the supplies.
“Here in a week or two, when the news isn’t talking about it anymore, they’ll still need water and they’ll still need some other things,” Baker said.
A reminder about the drive
Carter BloodCare provides online scheduling so that donors can schedule their time to donate and reduce or eliminate possible waits. For online scheduling, go to www.carterbloodcare.org. Walk-ins are welcome, but those with appointments will be seen first.
For more information on donor eligibility, call Carter BloodCare at 1-800-DONATE-4 or visit www.carterbloodcare.org. There is also donor information available in the front lobby of North Texas Medical Center.
For assistance in scheduling, contact NTMC official Gayla Blanton at (940) 612-8373.