Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Businesses support Tauranga Donor Centre

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Malcom George has been donating blood since he was 17-years-old. Photo/John Borren
Malcom George has been donating blood since he was 17-years-old. Photo/John Borren

Different businesses across Tauranga are doing their part to support the Tauranga Donor Centre.

Every week the centre is donated delicious baking from Cafe on the Strand, and Blomquist Bakery. Every month Blooms on Cameron also donates flowers to a donor.

Cafe on the Strand owner Malcolm George said his wife baked muffins and slices every Thursday for the Tauranga Donor Centre, something they have been doing for about three years.

"They get date and orange muffins and caramel slice," he said.

He also donates plasma every second Thursday too.

"I think I will still hold the record for the most plasma donations," he said with a laugh.

He was one of the first people to start donating plasma in Tauranga after the centre stated doing it three years ago. The 62-year-old first started giving whole blood donations when he was about 17.

He worked for a firm in Fraser Cove where all the workers would go and donate blood every three months in a house at the back of Tauranga Hospital.

Mr George said he would have donated blood and plasma well over 200 times now.

"Not enough healthy New Zealanders are donating. About 45,000 people a year in New Zealand need blood products.. So it is one way of helping people and it only takes 45 minutes of my time every two weeks.

"If 800mls of my plasma every two weeks can help half a dozen people, think of the number of people you can save, or make life easier for. That's the main thing.

"You don't have to put your hand in your pocket or anything. You go in there and get free bikkies."

Sue and Dave Blomquist, from Blomquist Bakery, have been shouting the blood centre morning tea once a week for almost two decades.

"We have always donated to the blood bank, since we started. There are lots of charities and organisations we donate to.

"Every Tuesday morning we take them apple scrolls. Then at Christmas time we give them Christmas tarts and Easter we give them hot cross buns.

"The centre does such a good job. We are very happy to support them."

In the last four years the number of people donating whole blood in Tauranga has dropped from 7907 to 5718.

Plasma donations have risen from 1016 to 3120 since 2012.

New Zealand Blood Service donor recruiter Jodie Houltram said the service needed more regular donors in Tauranga.

"We push our current donors to the limit and we lose donors that way.

"Ideally we would live in a country where if everyone just donated once a year, we would collect enough. But unfortunately that's not the case."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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