Holiday Finds

Whats New

Community Blood Bank adds east-side location

The Community Blood Bank officially opens for donors this week Dawley Farm Village.

The new location is in a space previously used by Avera McKennan, which has moved to a larger medical center on the south edge of the development at 26th Street and Veterans Parkway.

“We absolutely love it,” executive director Ken Versteeg said, adding donor research had revealed that the east side was a valuable location for people in east Sioux Falls, Brandon and northwest Iowa.

“It was determined that really here was where our next location off the hospital campus should go. It’s a convenient way for individuals on that side of town to get to that donor room, and it allows for individuals to not have to figure out where to park in a hospital parking lot.”

For now, you can donate blood two days a week by making an appointment at the Dawley Farm location, he said. The hope is to be fully operational by February, once additional staff can be added.

So far, response has been “huge,” Versteeg said. “It’s crazy. We are completely full through the end of December.”

Early January has openings, though, which is in time to contribute as part of the Heroes Behind the Badges annual competition between Sioux Falls Police and Fire Rescue.

“It’s so cool. It’s exactly what we needed. We needed this location on that side of town for several years, and I’m so happy we’re able to offer this to the community,” Versteeg said.

In the meantime, you still can donate blood at both Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center and Sanford USD Medical Center — and it’s needed this time of year, he said.

“The heightening of the holidays often causes a significant decrease is donations because people are busy, and we end up being on the list of forgotten,” Versteeg said. “But the Heroes Behind the Badges starts Dec. 21 and runs through Jan. 6, so if people are looking for an avenue to donate blood during the holidays, that makes it fun and a competition. It supplies all our blood for those two weeks.”

To schedule a blood donation online, click here.