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Keeping Blood Supplies Stable During Corona Threat

Community Blood Bank, a joint cooperative of Sanford USD Medical Center and Avera McKennan Hospital, Sioux Falls, SD is diligently working to maintain an adequate blood supply for the 36 local hospitals it services, including Murray County Medical Center.  As COVID – 19 is keep residents home, schools closed and businesses sending their employees to work from home, the need for blood donations is more vital than ever before.  Join us to donate blood at the Murray County Medical Center on Wednesday, April 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m., as they host an emergency “pop-up” community blood drive.  

According to the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), “Blood centers across the country are experiencing a decrease in donation appointments and cancellation of blood drives due to travel restrictions and social distancing efforts.  There is a potential to adversely impact the availability of blood as more blood drives may be cancelled, fewer healthy donors will be available to sustain the blood supply.  While we cannot predict blood supply needs during a pandemic, we know that a sufficient supply of blood must remain available to treat patients.”

Ken Versteeg, Executive Director, Community Blood Bank, states, “The need for blood donations continues to move into a critical state, with the many challenges that are preventing donors to give blood.  Each day is more difficult to avoid shortages, as collection continues to decrease in the local area.” Versteeg says, “Please join us to provide hope to those in need and support the local supply.”   

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with a signed parent consent form found at www.cbblifeblood.org) weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good general health.  Donors exhibiting cold or flu symptoms are unable to donate.  A valid identification is required at the time of registration.  It is recommended that a person eat and drink plenty of fluid prior to donating blood.  With policies associated with addressing COVID-19, donors with appointments will only be accepted at this blood drive event.  Donors may stop in at Murray County Medical Center the day of the blood drive and we will schedule an appointment for you or you may call Murray County Medical Center at 507-836-1286.  For additional information log onto www.cbblifeblood.org.  


Program Now Offering Up To $5,000 To Innovative Young People

Most high school and college campuses are now closed. Most students are stuck at home, often filling the hours with TikTok and other social media outlets.  But for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 who have a new idea or dream they’re trying to pursue, there’s now an opportunity to apply for a grant to make those ideas and dreams a reality.

The nonprofit Hunter Brooks Watson Memorial Fund offers competitive grants from $500 to $5,000 for those between the ages of 16 and 25. Its focus is on providing financial assistance to help passionate young men and women further their interests and innovative ideas in fields such as the performing arts, technology, music and entrepreneurship.

The Fund is now accepting applications for the next grant cycle. Applications can be submitted online between now and June 15, 2020. There is no application fee or any other cost for applicants for this grant program. Applicants need not be in high school or college, only to have demonstrated enthusiasm and passion in developing a new idea or business.

To date the Fund has helped more than 40  young people expand online businesses, finance music production facilities, attend international relations conferences, develop new social media apps, and undertake a variety of other innovative programs. The Fund provides direct grants to help finance these projects, and also offers mentoring support to help move the awarded projects forward.

The Memorial Fund was created in honor of Hunter Brooks Watson, a young man tragically killed as a passenger in a distracted driving accident just prior to entering his junior year at Syracuse University. Its funding focus is inspired by Hunter’s talents and accomplishments in music, performing, starting a business, and computer technology.

Further information about the Memorial Fund, its programs, and the grant application itself, is available online at www.hunterwatson.org  The free application process must be completed by June 15, 2020.


CRP Continuous Enrollment Period 

The Farm Service Agency is accepting offers for specific conservation practices under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Continuous Signup.

CRP is a voluntary program that contracts with agricultural producers so that environmentally sensitive agricultural land is devoted to conservation benefits. CRP participants establish long-term, resource-conserving vegetative species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”), to control soil erosion, improve the water quality and enhance wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with annual rental payments and cost-share assistance. Continuous signup enrollment contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration.

Under continuous CRP signup, environmentally sensitive land devoted to certain conservation practices can be enrolled in CRP at any time. Offers are automatically accepted provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap. 

Unlike CRP enrollments under general CRP signups or CRP Grasslands, offers for continuous enrollment are not subject to competitive bidding during specific periods. 

For more information, including a list of acceptable practices, visit fsa.usda.gov/crp. 


Volunteers Needed

Minnesota Responds:

Is a partnership that integrates local, regional, and statewide volunteer programs to assist our Public Health and healthcare systems during a disaster/emergency. Local MN Responds Volunteer Coordinators mobilize health and “non-health” volunteers to respond to emergencies within the community. Major emergencies can overwhelm the capabilities of hospitals and clinics. Volunteers during this critical time can play an important role to improve overall response capabilities.

As a Prospective Volunteer:

MN Responds Volunteer Coordinators are in the process of recruiting medical (RNs, LPNs, CNA but also ancillary services and others with medical type background. Some examples include Veterinarian, Dental or Chiropractor and more.) “Non-medical” volunteers to contribute their skills and expertise during the COVID-19 crisis. We are looking for individuals that are working or retired and willing to offer assistance. An individual DOES NOT HAVE to be in the health care field. Anyone interested in helping the community is encouraged.

Prepare:

We would like volunteers to register now. Have your personal information, licenses, certifications, competencies, and contact information available.

Questions?

Contact the MN Responds Volunteer Coordinator, Jen Nelson at Southwest Health & Human Services.

507-829-0227 

To register on-line:

https://www.mnresponds.org/ Click on “Register Now.” For the Organization information, click on the county in which you live and select SWHHS MN Responds (the county you live in) Volunteer Group for that specific county.

Register TODAY and Please pass the word!


Good News

By: John Stenen

A young man asked the preacher, “Sir, how long is a person permitted to safely put off making a decision to follow Christ?” “Until shortly before your death,” replied the minister. “But I do not know when I might die,” said the young man. “True,” said the preacher, “then decide now.”

We see so much death in our world today and people are so afraid that it may come to them. The truth is that death is at work in all of us, it’s only a matter of time. “It is appointed unto men once to die, and after this, the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27).

The judgment of God will come one day and it may be soon. Scripture tells us that this next judgment will be worse than the earth has ever before seen. Billions of people are going to die during the Seal, Trumpet, and Bowl judgments as recorded in the Book of Revelations. In Revelations 6: it speaks of such horror falling upon this world that the people, (those who have rejected Christ) will cry out for the mountains and rocks to fall on them and hide them from the face of God.

What’s wrong with the majority of people today who curse God and flaunt their sin? The answer is this: They have no fear of God! Imagine when that day comes and you are still not right with God at the day of your death. You enter into a Christ-less eternity and you are now in the eternal torments of hell. Jesus spoke more on hell than He did on heaven. He says it is a very real place. The truth is that you do not have to go to hell! Everything Jesus did through His death, burial and resurrection was to give us a way in which we may be made right (righteous) before God and become one of His children. Jesus is the only way in which you can escape hell which all of us deserve; and yet, Jesus was our substitute and bore the penalty of our sin. He is the only way to God. (John 14:6 & Acts 4:12).

How is it with you? Time is running out, the judgment of God is coming. Most of us do not know the hour of our death. However, the choice is yours whether you will choose life or death. (John 3:16 & John 5:24).

I’m simply like the guy standing on the side of the road holding the sign which reads, “Stop! The bridge is out ahead,” and yet, the cars race by and the people perish. Pull over now and ask Christ to come into your heart and be your Lord forever. God bless.