Red Cross blood drive held in honor of volunteer’s 101st birthday

Join the American Red Cross in helping to save lives on Monday, March 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church in Green Bay. The day is sure to deliver something special for Red Cross volunteer, Blanche Baudhuin, as she celebrates her 101st birthday.

Blanche has been a volunteer for the Red Cross for over 40 years. She volunteers about 24 hours a month staffing the registration desk at the Red Cross Green Bay Blood Donation Center. Her zest for helping to save lives continues because she believes in the good work being done at the Red Cross. “I look forward to coming into work to see the donors,” said Blanche. “If I had to stay home I don’t know what I would do.”

Last year Blanche celebrated her 100th birthday with the Red Cross family and friends. She challenged the community to roll up their sleeves and donate 100 pints of blood for patients in need. Causing quite the excitement across the state, donors traveled from miles away to celebrate her birthday and donate blood in her honor. Her birthday wish came true and 114 pints of blood were collected.

This year Blanche is planning to celebrate her birthday with another Red Cross blood drive.  Donors can help make her birthday wish come true by helping to save lives by collecting 101 donations on March 13.

Festival Foods and Thrivent Financial will join the celebration this year by donating refreshments for the birthday blood drive.

“We are honored to be able to help Blanche purchase refreshments for blood donors who help her reach her goal,” said Brian Stenzel, Festival Foods Director of Community Involvement. “We applaud her 40-plus years as a Red Cross volunteer and we encourage everyone to make Blanche’s 101st birthday the best ever by coming out to give blood on March 13.”

The Red Cross will have a party at the drive in celebration of her birthday.

“Our Church and Thrivent Member Doris Emmel was delighted to help with the Blanche’s birthday blood drive by utilizing one of her Thrivent Action Teams.  It’s about Christians helping others,” said Guy McCauley, Financial Associate, at Thrivent Financial.

The Red Cross is inspired by Blanche’s support to the Red Cross and for helping to save lives.  The joy is ours telling her story and encouraging others to volunteer and follow in her footsteps.

Blood Drive in honor of Blanche Baudhuin
Monday, March 13, 2017
11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Faith Lutheran Church
2235 S. Webster Ave., Green Bay, WI 54301

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visitredcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Red Cross blood drive held in honor of volunteer’s 100th birthday

Blanche Baudhuin has been volunteering for nearly 40 years

Blanche at almost 99 years old doing the "Lambeau Leap"

Blanche at almost 99 years old doing the “Lambeau Leap”

The American Red Cross is teaming up with Faith Lutheran Church in Green Bay and friends of Blanche Baudhuin in inviting the Green Bay community to give blood in Baudhuin’s honor on March 8. Baudhuin has been volunteering for the Red Cross for nearly 40 years. Donors can help make her birthday wish come true by helping to provide 100 pints of blood to honor her 100th birthday on March 13.

Even though she is nearly 100 years old, Baudhuin volunteers every Thursday, staffing the registration desk at the Red Cross Green Bay Blood Donation Center. To commemorate her 100th birthday, the Red Cross will have a party at the drive. The drive is co-sponsored by the Sunrise Optimist Club.

Donate Blood in Honor of Blanche Baudhuin

Tuesday, March 8

11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Faith Lutheran Church

2235 S. Webster Ave., Green Bay

Blanche surrounded by her Red Cross family for her 98th birthday.

Blanche surrounded by her Red Cross family for her 98th birthday.

To make an appointment to donate, download the Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code birthday or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. Blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

How to donate blood

Simply  download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or to obtain more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

96-year-old Baudhuin stays young through volunteer work

Written by Patti Zarling  Press-Gazette Media

One of the big changes Blanche Baudhuin experienced as a volunteer with Red Cross was moving to a computerized system. ‘I never owned a computer, I was afraid,’ Baudhuin said. ‘They showed me a simple way.’ / Lukas Keapproth/Press-Gazette Media

Blanche Baudhuin wore a cheerful red and white Christmas sweater and matching red shoes recently to greet blood donors at the local Red Cross on Deckner Avenue.Many regular donors recognize the smiling 96-year-old as she takes their name and types their information into “Susie” the computer. After all, she’s been a volunteer for the Northeastern Wisconsin chapter of the American Red Cross for about 36 years.

“I just love it,” Baudhuin said. “I hate to think of the day I can’t volunteer anymore.”

She said the gig keeps her young at heart. She used to be a driver for the nonprofit’s transportation services, but now she helps out at the front desk, sometimes answering phones, but mostly checking in donors.

She started volunteering after her husband died.

“I had to do something to keep busy,” Baudhuin said. “Before I came here, I also helped with the free Thanksgiving dinners for people and made quilts for the needy.”

Baudhuin said she likes volunteering for the Red Cross.

“I enjoy meeting the people,” she said. “Most of the people who come in know me because I’ve been here so long. When they come in, they kid with me.”

One of the big changes she experienced was moving to a computerized system.

“I never owned a computer, I was afraid,” Baudhuin said. “They showed me a simple way. I’m too old, can’t run it. We named her Susie.”

Although she no longer drives for the Red Cross, she still occasionally volunteers off sight, by helping at locations such as Green Bay City Hall, during blood collections.

Everyone she works with at the Red Cross is nice, she said.

“I like the people,” she said. “They’re friendly, and nice to get along with.”

Baudhuin grew up in Algoma and move to Green Bay in 1940. She likes to crochet and play cards when she’s not volunteering. She turns 97 in March.

She thinks more seniors should consider helping others.

“Instead of sitting home and feeling sorry for yourselves, get out and volunteer,” she said. “That’s how I feel about it.”

The Red Cross appreciates her efforts.

“She’s an absolute joy,” said Jody Weyers, regional volunteer and communications director for the local Red Cross. “I think it goes to show volunteering definitely keeps you young at heart. If you’re thing is sitting at home and thinking about ailments, it’s better to get out and keep busy.”

Blanche Baudhuin, 96, helps Jerry Vander Heiden check in to donate blood at the Lakeland Red Cross on Deckner Avenue. / Lukas Keapproth/Press-Gazette Media

Larry Guyette has known Baudhuin for more than a decade and drives her home after she volunteers at the center.

“She has such energy and enthusiasm,” he said. “She gets upset if she can’t make it here. It’s something that’s really important to her, and I thinks she sets a good example for all of us.”

— pzarling@greenbaypressgazette or follow her on Twitter @PGPattiZarling

Red Cross volunteer helps out for decades

Blanche Baudhuin has been volunteering at the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter for more than 30 years.

Blanche joined Good Day Wisconsin Wednesday to talk about her desire to help others and the recent celebration of her 94th birthday.

Click HERE for the Video: