Red Cross makes holiday push

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 9, 2004

The American Red Cross is teaming up with a Montgomery television station to host a large blood drive in the Selma Mall on June 29.

Helen Carroll, donor recruiter for the Red Cross, said the organization has partnered with CBS 8 WAKA for the past few years to sponsor the biggest blood drive in Central Alabama.

“The blood drive started in Montgomery, but it caught on and began to branch out into at least 15 different satellite areas,” Carroll said.

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Carroll said residents of Selma are always big supporters of blood drives in their city, and tend to come out in large numbers to donate.

“Selma always does a tremendous job in helping us when we have a need for blood,” Carroll said.

The CBS 8 Selma Donor Round-up will have a western theme, complete with ropes and cowboy hats used in the decorations.

“Every eighth donor will get a special prize from WAKA, and the Red Cross will also be handing out our usual T-shirts and special prizes,” Carroll said.

The Red Cross is trying to get as many people to donate as possible because of the Independence Day holiday coming up.

“The holidays are always a high need time for blood donors,” Carroll said. “So many people are on vacation and not around to give. There are lots of accidents on the holidays, and people will need blood. The usually long weekend will also be a time when some patients will schedule their surgeries, and they will need blood.”

Carroll said at least 70 percent of the American population are eligible to donate blood, but only 3.7 percent of the population participates in blood drives.

“People always ask if they can donate if they have diabetes or high blood pressure, and the answer is usually ‘yes’,” Carroll said. “There are only a few things that could prevent someone from donating.”

According to the Red Cross, nine out of 10 Americans will need blood in their lifetime. Not having enough blood for these people can present a real problem, especially on the holidays when blood is most needed.

“All the blood donated at this drive will service the local hospital,” Carroll said.

The blood drive will take place at the mall from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Positive identification is required, and donors must be 17-years-old and up and in good health.

If someone cannot make it the Selma Round-up drive, the Red Cross and Dallas County Department of Human Resources are also teaming up for a drive on June 25 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the DHR parking lot.