The Nov. 15 Blood Donor Recognition Breakfast reflected a cross section of the MGH. Employees gathered around tables in the Thier Conference Room to share a meal together. Some were meeting for the first time, while others were old friends who had met while reclining in donor chairs.

“It’s amazing,” said Kimberley Cronin, manager of the MGH Blood Donor Center. “Employees from across the hospital take time out of their day to donate. Many come time after time, see familiar faces and become friends with those they meet in the center.”

Buildings and Grounds staff, researchers, nurses, administrators and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary staff mingled together while sipping coffee, enjoying breakfast potatoes and checking out this year’s donor gift – an MGH lunch bag.

Among those honored with awards for their donations was Karen Harty, the Orthopaedics Department. “I like giving blood and platelets,” she says. “It relaxes me to sit and know that others are being helped by me donating.”

Cronin said she often is asked by donors if they can find out where their donation had been used. Although exact uses of donations cannot be determined, she did share a variety of cases in which blood donations played a crucial role in saving a patient’s life.

“On behalf of the many patients and their families, thank you for giving the gift of life,” said Cronin.

This article was originally published in the 12/01/17 Hotline issue.