Since 2004, Clemco has coordinated blood drives at its Washington headquarters with the American Red Cross (ARC).

In that span, Clemco employees have donated 1,314 units of blood.

According to the ARC, one unit (a pint) of blood can save up to three lives, which means over the past 15 years Clemco employees have impacted up to 3,942 lives with their blood donations.

The past five years Clemco Administrative Assistant Laura Vancil has coordinated the blood drives.

“Clemco is always great to work with,” said Melanie Sowa, ARC donor-recruitment account manager. “We send a blood mobile four times a year to Clemco, and Laura is always super helpful in recruiting donors and organizing the drives.”

Vancil said Clemco averages about 25 donors at each drive.

“That’s pretty good for about 150 employees total in the office and plant,” she said. “To encourage people, we have a raffle after every blood drive where two donors each win a half-day of paid time off (PTO).”

Ruth Shaw, parts assembler, and Pam Kimminau, administrative assistant, both won a half-day of PTO in the last blood drive.

“I’m a staunch blood giver,” said Shaw. “I’m hoping to have given 10 gallons total in my lifetime. I’m so grateful to Clemco that they let employees give blood during work hours and still pay us for that time.”

“Donating blood is an act of kindness,” said Kimminau. “I started giving blood more than 20 years ago. A friend’s daughter was severely burned in an explosion, and we held a blood drive in her honor.”

Between 2004 and 2014, Lynn Ennis, engineering sustaining manager, and Lynne Unnerstall, who is now retired, coordinated the blood drives.

“My dad always gave blood,” Ennis said. “It’s incredibly satisfying to know you have helped someone in need.  As soon as I was old enough to donate, I did. I never felt light-headed or weak after donating. The technicians joked that I had strong veins.”

The next blood drive at Clemco is scheduled for Thursday, May 16.

Clemco Industries, with nearly 150 employees, has been operating in Washington for nearly three decades. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of air-powered abrasive blast equipment used to clean, deburr, shot peen, remove coatings from, finish or otherwise improve surfaces being blasted.

Since the mid-1940s, Clemco Industries has built industrial-grade blast equipment for contractors, facility owners, metal fabricators, and manufacturers around the globe, and also offered safety and protection accessories.

Last year the Washington office became Clemco’s global headquarters for all domestic and international operations.