Shepeard Blood Center gets donations, needs more

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News 12 First at Five, July 29, 2007

People lined up to give life. 248 people gave blood over the past two days at the drive in Columbia County. That's way over their original goal of 200.

That's good news for the disappearing supply at Shepeard Blood Center, where some of the shelves sit empty.

Each second Jim Richardson sits in his chair, he's one drop closer to saving a life. Jim knows how important this donation is, because his wife is getting a transfusion today.

"People who can give blood, should give blood." He said.

Jim has been coming every eight weeks since 1970. Another lifetime donor is George Custodi. He went in for a regular donation, but this time they told him he was anemic. After more tests, he found out he had a form of cancer.

For George, giving blood could have saved his life. And for today's donors, giving blood can save several.

"It can save up to three lives. It's exciting to me, I'm ready to give it." Said one donor.

Community resources director Pam Rascon says they need even more givers like these. Over the summer, fewer people are in town. That means donations drop 30 percent.

"One out of every ten patients entering the hospital will need blood. And when we have donations that are slim during the summer, we need to still supply all the blood needs we have in our hospitals." She said.

And she says right now, just a couple major accidents could wipe out the current supply.

That's why she's thankful for the drives, and regular donors like Jim.

"It's an easy thing to do, and it means a lot to other people. It's a way of giving, and I'm able to do it." Jim said.

Restocking the shelves is important because they supply blood to 16 local hospitals. That's why they're offering some incentives for you to give.

Through the end of the month, you get free dip and dots ice cream and a t-shirt. Through July 7th, you also get a patriotic book in honor of independence day. Through the month of July, 15 people will win a $10 gas gift card. One person will also win a $150 visa gift card.

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