Inked and Generous – Tattoo Shop Gives Back!

by Claire DeRoin

Dragons, portraits, flowers, flags. Tattoos mean a lot to our blood donors who proudly show their ink, but they don’t have to mean blood donation has to stop!

Brad Duckert, owner of River City Tattoo Company in Mason City, Iowa, gets frequent questions regarding tattoos and how they affect blood donation. He gives the same answer that LifeServe does: as long as the tattoo was performed in a licensed facility, there’s no deferral time. Someone could get a tattoo and donate blood in the same afternoon, if they wanted!

Yet we still hear the same excuse – even though it isn’t true – over and over: “I got a tattoo, so I can’t give for a year.”

Northern Iowa Territory Representative Kathie Gayther took that misconception and ran with it. “It’s important to educate both tattoo artists as well as the public,” Kathie explained. “Bridging the gap between agencies only makes sense.”

That’s how LifeServe Blood Center’s partnership with River City Tattoo Company was born. In order to help spread the word that blood donation and body art can go hand in hand, River City Tattoo Company is donating $25 gift certificates to every Mason City area blood donor who rolls up a sleeve at one of Kathie’s Mason City blood drives from December 16-December 31.

The generosity comes at an amazing time of the year when donations generally drop off due to holiday plans and travel, winter weather, and flu season. Don’t have a tattoo design in mind? Don’t worry: there’s no rush.

“When I asked Brad about putting an expiration date on the coupon, he said not to because he is often booked out a year in advance,” Kathie said. “He didn’t want blood donors to lose out on the opportunity due to an expiration date.  He 100% supports our mission and is eager and willing to share information with his clients!”

Sometimes all it takes to build a powerful partnership in your community is an idea and an ask! When it comes to community partners, the sky’s the limit! If you know a local company that would be willing to provide an incentive for your blood donors, please reach out!