Turnout great for blood drive on Thursday

Published 12:58 am Friday, July 6, 2018

The American Red Cross is in dire need of blood, and St. Mary’s Episcopal Church answered the call by filling all of their appointment spots yesterday at their semi-annual blood drive.

Even though yesterday was a day after a holiday, when donations are typically down, the Rev. Cindy Howard said that they have never filled all of their appointment slots.

“We usually have two blood drives a year,” Howard said. “One in January and one in July, so when I looked at the calendar it just fell into place.”

Howard said that they filled all 28 slots and had several walk-ins.

“We have been pretty steady all day,” Howard said. “We have definitely had more than last year, so I am very pleased.”

A representative from the Red Cross said that they are in dire need of blood.

“Most of the time, in the summer, we have trouble getting people to donate blood,” She said. “It is hot so people don’t want to donate and people are on vacation so they don’t think about donating. We usually pick up a lot whenever schools are in session.”

The representative from the Red Cross said that some of the things that people in Covington County can do to help are to get hydrated and get the word out.

“People need to be hydrated for sure,” She said. “If you are dehydrated then you may pass out. People also need to get the word out that there is a blood drive around them. If people know then they will be more willing to come out and donate.”

The Red Cross will host one more blood drive in July on Monday, July 9, at the First Methodist Church, and then two in August on Monday, August 6, at Andalusia Health and Thursday, August 16, at the First Baptist Church.

Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages, accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer.

According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S. and according to the American Cancer Society, about 1.7 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2018. Many of them need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.