Gleaning to Save Lives: Eugene Area Gleaners donate blood to aid a community in crisis!

Eugene Area Gleaners is run by dedicated volunteers who want to connect hungry people with available food and to reduce local food waste. We have an expanding roster of donors – farmers and private property owners –  that request we glean their extra produce. Eugene Area Gleaners offers our membership of nearly 1000 families with food resources that would otherwise be wasted. Since our founding in 2009, volunteers gleaned over 174,000 pounds of produce at 634 gleans in our community.

Today, our 100% volunteer nonprofit wants to give even more. Eugene Area Gleaner founder and board president Brandy Collier organized a bloodrive with BloodWorks Northwest when her daughter became interested in donating blood. Brandy, who had never given blood before, learned of an urgent blood shortage due to COVID-19/coronavirus and wanted to bring the gleaners, who she considers family, with her. “This group and these people, it’s about so much more than what they can get. It’s about community, it’s about giving back, it’s about how everybody works together, and this is amazing. This was my first time and I was terrified,” said Collier, “but knowing that I wasn’t alone made it so much better.”

As the first annual blood drive for the group, we filled up all 40 slots and many members who couldn’t get in during the drive have made arrangements to give next week. Others who couldn’t give lent support. Longtime active member Maureen Griffin said, “I’m not able to, but remember how important being transfused was to me. Thank you to all those people who give blood and save lives.”

Mark Smith of BloodWorks Northwest said “Our community’s blood supply has dropped by over 25% since the beginning of June with some types dropping as much as 40%. Brandy, it is scary and the trend is not looking good. Thank you so much for your support!!”