A Wadesboro Community Blood Drive held at First Baptist Church on Sept. 20 was “very successful,” according to Lewis Evans, community service chairman of the Wadesboro Rotary Club, which sponsored the event.
Of the 52 people who signed up, a total of 43 were acceptable donors; of these, four were first-time givers, Evans said. Halfway through the drive more than 30 people had been signed in. “It’s more than we normally [have] by this time,” he said.
Neither Evans nor Cesar Kalombo, a Red Cross BCO at the event, were surprised that the majority of the donors were repeat donors. “Most people are here donating because they always have,” said Evans. Repeat givers included Angela Sturdivant, who said she comes out every time and looks forward to coming back.
John Watson, another donor, was pleased with the turnout; by his estimate, the events normally draw 30-35 people but not quite halfway through the event at 3 p.m. he was donor number 27 and anticipated more. Like Sturdivant, Watson is a repeat donor. “They do it every two months, so six times a year,” he said. “I probably go five times a year, and I’ve been doing it for 10 years.”
Rotary Club president Carly Little also donated. Like most of the others, she was a repeat donor, as well. Although she’s only been Rotary Club president since July, Lewis praised her efforts so far. “She’s a very sweet girl, she does a good job,” Lewis said.
Lewis also credits Hugh Wallace for the higher turnout. When a phone-calling committee was needed, Wallace organized it and personally called at least 25 of the over 100 people on the list, according to Wallace and Lewis. “We called over 100 but many are out of town, on vacation, or couldn’t get off work in time to be here,” Wallace said. While Lewis agreed, he still believed that Wallace’s phone-calling resulted in the higher numbers. “You can tell it worked because of the early influx,” he said.
The donors at this drive and others help recipients of the blood through the Red Cross, which supplies products to about 3,000 hospitals nationwide, according to a Red Cross publication. Approximately every two seconds, someone in America needs blood; while 38 percent of the population are eligible donors, only a fraction of them actually do, according to the publication. People interested in donating should meet the eligibility requirements that include being at least 17 (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds, and are generally in good health. High school students and other donors 18 and younger have certain height and weight standards they must reach, as well, according to the publication.
To find out more about donating or the Red Cross, call 1-800-733-2767 or visit redcrossblood.org.