Blood wars on Broad Street exceed goals

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SELMA — Carter Drug Co. reclaimed the reigning champion title in the second Broad Street store wars blood drive for the American Red Cross for the Central Alabama Gulf Coast region.

Donors chose to make their blood donation in the name of either Brown Drug Co., Carter’s Books & Gifts, Pilcher-McBryde Drug Company or Swift Drug Company.

Ivy Pittman, blood services account manager with the Red Cross, wanted to find a way to make donation blood fun, so that more people would be willing to do so. Each hour door prizes were also awarded to names drawn from people who had donated, as well as drawing for a $1,000 gift card in American Red Cross Quarterly Give Away.

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The need for blood donors in Alabama is imperative, according to Ms. Pittman. “We don’t have enough people in Alabama to give blood that can give,” she said.

To supplement the need, the Red Cross has to import donations from surrounding states. If all able donors would give blood twice a year, the state would be self-sufficient, Ms. Pittman said.

“We had a great turn-out,” she said. “We stayed steady all day. We even went over our goal.”

Setting a goal of 17 pints of blood, 30 donors showed up, and 24 were able to donate, beating the goal by six pints.

“It was very close this year between all four places,” Ms. Pittman said.

When the American Red Cross Bloodmobile opened its doors at 11 a.m., donors like Regina Williams, bookkeeper at Carter Drug Company, quickly filled the vehicle.

She showed up to donate because it is the way she can help others.

“The world needs it, everywhere,” Ms. Williams said. “If blood is all I can do, then that’s what I can do.”

She visited the Bloodmobile on her lunch break, and said her vote is going to Carter Drug. She was even able to convince Alvin Craig, radiographer at Vaughn Regional Medical Center, to make his donation in the name of Carter Drug Company.

As Mr. Craig waited his turn to donate, he was on and off his cell phone, calling almost anyone he knew, telling people to come out and donate blood.

The competition of this event made it more fun for him.

“I love to give blood,” Mr. Craig said. “This is a community project. You never know when you will need blood.”

He had recruited two people in the first 30 minutes of the drive, and set a goal of recruiting 10 people.

The next blood drives in the area will be on Jan. 21 at Easter Seals at 2906 Citizen’s Parkway from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Jan. 22 at Lighthouse Rehabilitation at 2911 Earl Goodwin Parkway from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Jan. 27 at Selma High School from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The blood drive at Selma High School is not open to the public.