Harley-Davidson Financial Services donates blood

When the blood donor vehicles rolled up in front of the Harley-Davidson Financial Services building on Technology Way, Francis Ross was ready for them.

This was the fourth year that Harley-Davidson Financial Services employees have donated to United Blood Services. Last year, the company had to have two blood mobiles available.

The company has 415 employees, and of that number 96 volunteered to give. Only 80 were allowed to donate, but the number is about 25 percent of the employees.

Ross, Human Resources coordinator, along with Lesley Felesina, Macie McCurdy, and Susan McElfish, put together what is being termed as one of the most successful business drives in Carson Country.

There are 30 companies that encourage or allow their employees to donate at work. Last year, there were 2, 248 units of blood donated in the Carson Country area by businesses.

"I really feel that we have a good crew," said Ross. "Our incentives may be to hand out a T-shirt or something, and that helps get them out, but I think most people think it's just a good thing to do."

United Blood Services spokeswoman Nyla Emerson said that Harley-Davidson is a perfect example of what a corporation or business can do to help out in the community.

"I think that all the businesses in this area who cooperate in the blood drives go all out," she said. "I'd like to encourage other businesses to step forward with the same kind of commitment."

Ross said that the employees in the office are allowed to donate on company time and return to work.

On donation day this year, the company moved out the lunchroom and conference rooms to make way for the blood drive.

"We just knew that we weren't going to have room in the two blood mobiles," she said. "This allowed them to move in beds and use more staff."

The company draw was from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

"So, it didn't take a whole day to work that many employees through," she said.

The blood mobiles are dispatched when businesses ask for it.

"To come that far from Reno, we have to have at least 25 units of blood to put together a blood drive," Emerson said. "The blood drive at Harley-Davidson is just exceptional."

She said it takes little effort to get a blood drive together in a business.

"One person in a business can turn it from a business that doesn't do anything to a business that does everything," she said. "It just takes one person."

For information, call 324-6454.


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