Miss Hawaii rallies donors for Blood Bank of Hawaii
Unlike many Hawaiians, staff at the Blood Bank of Hawaii look upon summer with some trepidation.
Many blood donors go on vacation this time of year, but the need for blood never ends.
On Tuesday, the blood bank got a little help from Miss Hawaii 2013, Crystal Lee.
"You don't really realize how powerful one pint of blood is," she said. "One hour of your day can save three lives."
Lee was there with other local beauty queens for a Miss Hawaii blood drive.
She got 26 people to come in and give, all part of her platform as Miss Hawaii, to encourage others to donate blood.
"My grandfather was actually diagnosed with a blood cancer. He basically survived of off blood donation," Lee said. "There were times when they were unable to find his right blood type and match to give him the right transfusion, so it clicked: 'Why don't I help the blood bank.'"
Lee's uncle, David Loui, a first-time blood donor, was convinced after hearing his niece speak during the Miss Hawaii pageant.
"She said, 'Don't expect a miracle when maybe you can be a miracle for someone.' It just touched me," he said. "I made up my mind. I was ready to do it."
As it turned out, Lee couldn't donate blood because her iron level was too low. But, Miss Oahu, Brittany Woodward could, and did, crown and all.
The donations and the exposure gained by the women's visit was seen as a big gift by the blood bank because summer is its slowest time of the year.
Loui said he thinks many people stay away for fear of needles. "But it went so well I would really consider being a regular donor."