UNION — Local residents will have the opportunity to each save three lives and show their support for law enforcement when The Blood Connection brings its 12th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Week Blood Drive to Union Monday morning.
August Garrett, accounts coordinator for The Blood Connection, said Friday that the organization’s bloodmobile will be at Walmart, 513 N. Duncan Bypass, from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Garrett said Monday’s event is part of a larger blood drive the organization is doing throughout the area during Memorial Week. She said the blood drive is designed to collect blood for the 22 hospitals the organization supplies in northeastern Georgia, western North Carolina, and northwestern South Carolina including Wallace Thomson Hospital which, in 2012, received 1,346 units of packed red blood cells from The Blood Connection.
“All the blood we collect stays local,” Garrett said.
In addition to collecting blood for the hospitals, Garrett said the Memorial Week blood drive is also designed to honor and support law enforcement personnel. Garrett said the theme of this year’s Memorial Week blood drive is “Heroes Live Forever” which celebrates the dedication and courage of law enforcement personnel and the importance of hospitals having blood on hand for officers injured in the line of duty as well other patients who may need it.
“The blood drive allows us to bring up enough units of blood so that if during the year an officer needs blood we can provide it,” Garrett said.
Garrett said each donor will receive a special t-shirt emblazoned with Heroes Live Forever with the o in Heroes replaced with the drive’s badge emblem which bears the words 12th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Week Blood Drive. She said each donor will also receive a hot dog plate prepared by The Blood Connection staff. The plates will include a hot dog, chips, and a drink.
Also participating in the blood drive will be the Union Shriners who Garrett said will have a tent set up next to the bloodmobile. She said the Shriners will assist the staff throughout the day, especially in the recruitment of donors.
“They are really good at that,” Garrett said.
Donors must be 16 and older and Garrett said those who are 16 must be accompanied by a parent when they come to give blood. She said anyone donating blood should eat a good meal and drink plenty of water before donating.
Garrett pointed out that when a person gives blood they are potentially saving three lives.
“One donor saves three lives,” Garrett said. “One unit of blood saves three lives. One person can save three lives.”
According to The Blood Connection website (thebloodconnection.org) a blood transfusion is required for a wide range of medical situations including accident victims, chemotherapy patients, and persons undergoing organ transplants. It further states that the American Association of Blood Banks estimates an average of 23 million units of blood are transfused into patients each year in the United States.
Despite the great need, the website states that only 37 percent of the population of the United States is eligible to donate blood and only 10 percent donate each year. The Blood Connection’s goal is to collect 100,000 plasma, platelets, and whole blood donations each year.
For more information about The Blood Connection go to thebloodconnection.org.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.