Bangor, ME - The Red Cross and Gaia Fertiliy Clinic have launched a donation competition to try and fill shortages in both banks of medical fluids. The blood bank and sperm bank are trying to beat each gallon for gallon in donation for the month of January.
"January is generally a low month in donations, as people have given before Christmas and are tapped out. But there are several untapped who could give and competition is one way to do it," said Gaia spokesman Ken Jerrel.
Donation competition have been used between rival sports team fans, unions, communities and workplaces for years successfully, but this is the first time a blood bank and sperm bank have gone head to head.
"The competition takes into account the nature of donations. Sperm donations are smaller in volume, but can be done multiple times over, versus once with blood every six weeks," said Red Cross volunteer Winona Harris.
The competition, while unusual, will meet growing needs in the community.
"People always need blood, and several people want to have kids, but cannot afford more costly in vitro fertilization. It won't really matter who gets the most donations, as the community will benefit," said Harris.
Some people have taken the competition more seriously. Sperm bank donors have launched a "Beat Off" campaign to raise donations. Blood donors have matched that with a "Needle Pricks, not Needle Dicks" counter campaign.