101 Donations

Jim Vinski reaches a significant milestone

By Paula Green

 So many of us are familiar with the Disney movie 101 Dalmatians this month; instead of sharing a story of Dalmatian puppies with you, we focus on something else – specifically blood. A McCandless man has been donating blood for many years. On Saturday, October 2, Jim Vinski reached a significant milestone when he entered the doors of Vitalant; he made his 101st  blood donation.

Vinski is in his sixties and has been generously giving since he was in his 20s. Although as he notes, “I’ve been donating blood for years, and I’m happy that I’ve been able to do so, not everyone can.” At least Vinski has a sense of humor about it, “Every time I go there, I get needled,” he said.

When Vinski started donating blood over 40 years ago, the donation site was called Central Blood Bank. CBB opened its doors in the Pittsburgh area in 1951. In September 2018, due to a national rebranding effort with affiliated blood donation operations, Central Blood Bank changed its name to Vitalant. The conversion was an attempt to draw in younger donors.

On the day that Vinski made his historical contribution, he made sure that he sported his Croatian heritage shirt because there is a unique connection, as he notes. “My heritage is Croatian. Dalmatia is part of Croatia. It is located on the Adriatic Coast.  So there’s a tie-in with the dogs in the movie and their country of origin.”

The motivating force behind why Vinski gives his blood is to assist others in need. “I had heard that donations can help many people, and fortunately, I’ve been able to make those donations.

You’re doing good by giving yourself to help others. I give a few times a year,” Vinski said.

Finally, he wanted people to know that it’s not hard to do, as he remarked, “Donating blood is easy – it’s done on your schedule, it’s quick, and as many as three people can be helped by each pint. I am hopeful that this will encourage others to donate.”