Top Ladies of Distinction, Nicole Cares Foundation Host Successful Blood Drive in Sauk Village

All photos by Marshelle Sanders

On Saturday, Feb. 24, a group of ladies and Sauk Village Trustee Debbie Williams came together to help individuals in need of blood at the McConathy Public Library. They also gathered to support a member who shared her story of being a blood transfusion patient and created a foundation.

For those curious about blood donation, it has a beneficial impact on the world and healthcare. A blood drive is coordinated to collect donations from volunteer donors for use in transfusions and medical treatments.

This partnership that took place on Saturday collected 22 units of blood from 29 donors, which is a significant accomplishment. Each unit of blood can be used to help many people and potentially save even more lives than initially anticipated. This underscores the importance and impact of blood donation drives in supporting healthcare and saving lives within the community.

The Partnership

Top Ladies of Distinction is a national organization with several chapters. Tracey Walker–Hines, president of the Black Diamond Chapter, stated that the ladies at this event are Will County Black Diamond chapter members and are ready to fulfill each mission.

“We serve our community. We have five major thrust services: youth, women, senior citizens, community beautification and community partnerships, which we partner with other organizations to help us fulfill our mission,” said Walker-Hines. “We are here today for this event because this is the work that will save lives for our community’s members. This year, our national administration has signaled that sickle cell will be one of our major projects. Even before that, we as an organization, as a chapter, know the importance of giving blood and how it affects lives and saves lives.”

Nicole Cares Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 2017. Nicole C. Bullock is a Top Ladies of Distinction member who shared her experience battling non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and receiving treatment. She has received several blood and platelet transfusions that helped save her life, and she wants to spread her testimony to the community.  

“I didn’t know what it was [non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma], and God placed a calling on my life to raise awareness about this blood cancer and to help others who are affected by the disease.”

With Versiti Blood Center, which collected the samples, the blood remains local and will be distributed to community hospitals.

Occasionally, myths concern some people who may be afraid to donate, but Nicole recommends that it is okay to call blood donation agencies to gain more insight.

“Some people have come with conditions like hypertension and even diabetes, which is still accepted as long as it’s being well maintained with drug therapy. I encourage people to call, and they can discuss the particulars of their situation or if they are on certain medications and if it is safe for them to donate.”

The Nicole Cares Foundation will also hold an annual blood drive on Sept. 7, 2024, where she will partner with other organizations to boost the numbers. Bullock said, “Those numbers are typically low in the winter months. It is a collaborative effort to do some good and get the blood needed for this community and country.”

“Every person that comes in today to give blood is saving lives.” – Tracey Walker-Hines, President of TLOD Will County Black Diamond Chapter

The Blood Donation Experience

Top Ladies of Distinction President Tracey Walker-Hines


Donors were taken into the screening area after being registered with TLOD and meeting and learning about the Nicole Cares Foundation. Once approved, they go with the phlebotomist technician to donate blood, which takes only 5-10 mins. Plus, snacks and a resting area are readily available.

Donor volunteer Malcolm White, a South Suburban resident, has donated blood for 30 years. He shared why he gives blood. 

“My experience donating blood is always pleasant, and I meet nice people, and I know it helps people. When I was born, I needed a blood transfusion, as I was told. The first one didn’t take, and then I needed another one. So, in honor of my mother who didn’t give up on me, I want to help other people not give up.”

Another Donor, Bridget Robinson, stated, “It was easy, quick, no trouble. Everybody’s nice, helpful and super calming. Suppose you’re nervous about donating blood or having needles right into your arm. I didn’t experience any pain. I’ve been a blood donor for years. I donated blood many years ago. I’ve been getting emails about how critical the need is now, and I hope people would donate if I needed it.”

These drives are typically organized by hospitals, blood banks, community organizations or businesses collaborating with blood collection agencies. Blood drives are crucial for maintaining a sufficient supply of blood to meet the needs of patients undergoing surgeries, trauma care, cancer treatments and other medical procedures that require blood transfusions.

Nicole encourages people to come out and help.

 “I emphasize people to try because you never know when that blood donation may save your life. There’s no substitute for human blood; it has to come from another person. Someone’s life depends on these people that came out here today.”


About Post Author


From the Web

Skip to content