RUPERT, Idaho — The staff at Minidoka Memorial Hospital are on the front lines of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, but they say they wanted to do even more for the community they serve.
"We have staff that is absolutely amazing, and they were having trouble finding time to go to community blood draws," explained Tammy Hanks, who works at the hospital.
The hospital decided they wanted to organize their own--so Hanks got to work. The slots were filled almost entirely by hospital staff.
"We did back to back, Friday from Friday. We got that organized and set up, and it was filled completely," Hanks said. "We even had to turn some of our staff members away because it was so full!"
The blood drive looked a little different because of social distancing, but the hospital says they took every precaution to keep everyone safe.
The donations the hospital collected will go toward saving dozens of people.
"It was enough to save 125 lives," Hanks said with a smile.
For donors like longtime Red Cross supporter, Jason Gibbons, it's about doing everything they can to help others heal.
"To be able to provide that lifesaving opportunity for them, it's a great feeling and I enjoy doing it," said Gibbons.
Hanks says after seeing the passion her coworkers had for showing support for their tight-knit community, she knew she wanted to make the blood drive a reality.
"They are first-line responders, and for them to still say 'We want to do this, we want to be able to give back to this community that's given us so much,' I think their inspiration for me was that they wanted to go do this--so we had to make it happen," Hanks explained.
The hospital says they're planning to hold another blood drive for their staff coming up a little later on in the summer. In the meantime, they say there's still a huge need for blood, so they encourage everyone to donate if they can. Click here to find a blood drive near you.