SAN ANTONIO (2/12/15)--John Kirk, president/CEO of Alamo FCU, San Antonio, with $42 million in assets, is a frequent visitor to the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center, which is located next to the credit union's headquarters.
|Alamo FCU CEO John Kirk, left, and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center Chief Operating Officer Elizabeth Whitman compete in a friendly blood donation challenge. Whitman won by finishing her donation first. (Alamo FCU Photo)|
Kirk recently offered Elizabeth Whitman, the center's chief operating officer, a challenge--if she could fill a one-pint blood bag faster than he could, he would pay her $50, the Cornerstone Credit Union League reported (Leaguer Feb. 11)
"Whitman took my bet," Kirk said, "not knowing that I was a 'quick bleed' and could finish in six minutes or less. But I had a bad vein that morning and she beat my time."
Kirk's time was 6 minutes, 17 seconds. Whitman's? 5 minutes, 38 seconds "No excuses," Kirk added. "She beat me fair and square."
Whitman agreed to a rematch with Kirk in eight or nine weeks, which is the waiting time required between donations. Both Kirk and Whitman want to spread the message that donating blood saves lives--even if you're not a "quick bleed."
To kick off its 85th anniversary this year, Alamo FCU sponsored a blood drive Jan. 18. The credit unions promoted the drive by offering free pizza for every blood donation. As a result of the credit union's efforts, the South Texas Blood Center reported the largest single-donation day in its history.
Kirk personally has donated nine gallons in his lifetime. "Our favorite bank is a blood bank," Kirk said. He has a simple message for other credit unions: "Got 6 minutes?
"There's a desperate need for blood," Kirk said. "I think if people knew that it took only six minutes to give, they would give more often. Think about the ALS ice bucket challenge; it was fun and everyone did it, and they raised all kinds of money. This campaign could encourage people to give blood on a regular basis."