In 2016 the PVH and MCR Foundation, spurred by a generous lead donor, undertook a community campaign to raise funds for two brand-new mobile blood donation buses for the Garth Englund Blood Center. The blood center is our community blood bank, collecting and supplying lifesaving blood products locally. This successful campaign illustrates the three fundamental ways that donors, giving through the PVH and MCR Foundation, support health right here in northern Colorado:
- Accelerating advances
The blood center’s former blood donation bus was on its last legs. The 13-year-old vehicle often spent more days in the shop than out collecting blood! The capability for the blood center to be mobile is critical to their success, as 75% of the blood they collect comes from mobile drives. Because of a large gift from a generous lead donor that spurred this campaign the PVH and MCR Foundation was able to significantly advance the timeline for having the bus replaced, moving it up from sometime in the next few years to mere months from when the campaign took shape.
- Filling in gaps
The foundation wasn’t able to just raise the funds to replace the old bus ahead of schedule, through the inspiring generosity of donors to the campaign we were also able to fund the purchase of an additional, smaller mobile donation bus with a 2-bed donation capacity. The second bus will exponentially increase the reach of the blood center, allowing for simultaneous blood drives at separate locations, increasing access by having a more agile bus to augment the large one, and providing the ability to mobilize both buses very quickly to address shortages or extreme high-demand situations.
- Expressing gratitude as part of the healing process
When you see the brand new 2-bed blood bus darting around town you may notice it’s named the O. Rex Story bus, and the story of how it came to be is a wonderful example of the power of philanthropy to express gratitude. O. Rex Story passed away in 1992 of a rare blood disease. The Fort Collins realtor was only 58 years old and had spent years receiving life-sustaining blood transfusions. In that time, friends and family members were able to donate at the Garth Englund Blood Center specifically for Rex’s transfusions. During his 12 year illness he was receiving blood as often as every two weeks. When the campaign for new mobile blood buses began former PVH and MCR Foundation Board Member Rod Rice and his wife Jamie, daughter of Rex, embraced the opportunity as a way to say thank you to the community of physicians, the blood center team, and the selfless blood donors whose service and generosity meant so much to Rex and his family. The O. Rex Story Family fund was set up at the foundation and word went out to Rex’s surviving family and close friends. They made a significant commitment of $100,000 to name the bus in Rex’s honor and opened up the fund for donations from those who meant the most to him. Now the mobile blood bus will carry forward the memory of O. Rex Story and the legacy of giving from his family and friends as it collects life-saving, and life-sustaining, blood donations in our community.