BEAVERCREEK — Barbara Handorf never stopped donating platelets during the stay-at-home time of the COVID-19 pandemic and on June 4 at the Dayton CBC she celebrated her milestone 150th lifetime donation.
Back when Handorf was a work-at-home mom raising two boys, she embarked on a cottage industry career that connected her to an Ohio landmark, the giant Longaberger Basket.
“I sold baskets for 25 years,” said Handorf of the picnic basket collectibles that were so wildly popular in the 1990s. She mostly worked from home, but it meant occasional visits to the legendary “World Largest Basket” in Newark. Longaberger’s former company headquarters is a seven-story replica of the classic Longaberger basket Handorf sold by mail.
Handorf grew up in Preble County, went to Tri-County North High School, and made her first blood donation at Defiance College.
“I was 18 when I made my very first donation,” she said. “It was my freshman year.”
She began donating with CBC in the early 1990s when mobile blood drives would come to her work at TRW. She was also a substitute teacher at St. Luke School in Beavercreek as her sons went from grade school to Carroll High School to graduating from University of Dayton.
Longaberger is long gone, though the giant basket remains as a roadside attraction. Handorf now works for Comprehensive Eye Care, and she keeps her eye on her platelet appointment schedule so she can average one or two donations every month.
“It’s something I do to give back,” she said. “That’s always my thought.”