Let’s talk about legacy. I have made a wonderful friend who is like nobody else you are ever going to meet and I want to introduce her to the few of you who don’t already know her. To the rest of you, well I am honestly just bragging on this lady right here. Either way, you don’t want to miss this read. I want to give you some statistics on the remarkable career of Mrs. Julia Davis.
Julia has been with Marsh Regional Blood Center for 50 years! She is that familiar voice people can’t say no to when she calls and asks for blood donations. Here are some statistics quoted in the recent naming of Julia Davis day in the city of Kingsport. In her time at Marsh Julia has: worked 104,000 hours, collected at least 650,000 units of blood, saved 1,950,000 lives and placed an estimated 1,300,000 donation request phone calls. That means if one wife in five answered the phone, Julia has been treated like Jake from State farm 260,000 times. I cannot fully express my honor in knowing this lady and I want you to know her too. Folks, meet Julia Davis.
BRIAN: Thank you for taking time to talk with me and share about yourself. Please tell folks about your experience growing up and how it shaped you.
JULIA: I grew up in the small town of Blackwater, VA in Lee County. My parents taught me and my siblings that in order to make a living you had to work hard. When I came to work at Wellmont I had no other goal than to be a hard worker. My older sisters lived in Kingsport and visiting with them I met my husband Roy. He and I have been married 50 years and have lived in Kingsport that entire time. Roy is an inspiration in my life. When I went to work he was never selfish in giving me the time I needed to do my job. The laboratory where I worked for a time was the kind of place where no one had a particular job and everybody worked wherever they were needed. I had worked there for three months when Miss Lois Marsh asked me if I would like to work in the blood bank full time. I was overflowing with joy because I liked to work where I could see the patients benefit from a donor’s blood. I have been with Marsh for 50 years now and that feeling never fades.
BRIAN: You have chosen to live and serve in the Tri-Cities your entire adult life. What makes this place so special to you?
JULIA: I want to thank God for sending me to Wellmont Health System to find a job. I also thank my husband who has been my rock throughout my working career. I begin work at Wellmont Health System on September 12, 1966. Through my work as a donor recruiter I have met an abundance of donors who have become my friends and my donor family. I try to visit my donors when someone in their family is sick or if they have a loved one that has passed away. I love my donors and I am very respectful for what they do to help save lives. Wellmont is an awesome place to work. I guess the short answer to your question is the opportunities, the people and the wonderful relationships I have been blessed to establish over the years.
BRIAN: The people in this region are truly one-of-a-kind. Can you talk a little about how the people of this region have impacted your life?
JULIA: The people in the Tri-Cities are like no other people in the world. I will put it this way, if there are other people in the world as kind and giving as the people from here, then I would be glad to meet them. What we do at Marsh depends completely on the kind and generous spirit of donors who choose to come and give of themselves in order to save the lives of people they have never met. That is a very special thing and I have always been grateful and amazed at how much people in this region care about the greater good more than themselves a lot of the time. I can’t ever thank our donors enough for what they do.
BRIAN: Faith is a cornerstone of our community. How does your faith impact your daily life and decision making process.
JULIA: Roy and I are members of Gravely Baptist Church. My faith in God has been a big help in my accomplishments at Marsh Regional Blood Center. I have had several encounters that I needed to talk to someone who needed guidance or just needed a caring heart. With God in my life I have numerous blessings every day.
BRIAN: And finally, I absolutely cannot end this without giving you the chance to brag on Marsh and do what you do best, encourage donations!
JULIA: Marsh Regional Blood Center is the very best place to work. The employees at Marsh and the donors care about the patients in this area who are in need. I would like to thank the donors who donate every eight weeks. I want to invite those donors who have not visited us lately and also first time donors to please stop by and help someone in need. Marsh donors are truly the best and they care about saving lives. I love my job at Marsh and that is why I have dedicated my life’s work to what we do. It is a great feeling to know you are helping someone and I get to feel that every day, what a blessing. Anybody who wants to donate needs to call us right now at 423-408-7500.