12/30/05 — Blood supplies low

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Blood supplies low

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on December 30, 2005 1:49 PM

Blood supplies are critically low, Red Cross officials say, and blood donors are desperately needed to help.

The Wayne County chapter of the American Red Cross collected more than 6,300 units of blood during 2005. But Red Cross officials said this week that area hospitals are still in dire need of more.

Samia Garner is blood services director for the Wayne County chapter. She urged people making New Year's resolutions to resolve to give blood.

"The need right now is so tremendous. We are at a critical and emergency status. That's less than a day's supply on hand. Every drop we get is of ultimate importance," she said. "We just ask people to please take the time to donate. It only takes one hour and it's the best possible gift someone could give for the holidays."

Red Cross officials said they will hold several blood drives during the month of January. A blood drive was being held today until 6 p.m. at St. Luke United Methodist Church on Pine Street.

Jean Johnson of Goldsboro has been donating not only her blood, but her time, to the Red Cross for 35 years. Over that time she has given more than 16 gallons of blood. Knowing how much her blood has helped others motivates her to continue to give, she said.

"It is a personal decision to give blood. My neighbor at the base was in the Red Cross and I became a volunteer. I was not aware of giving blood until then, but now awareness has grown," Mrs. Johnson said. "It makes me feel good. It feels like it makes my body feel better for a couple of days. I don't know if that's mental or not, but it makes me feel better physically."

Many donors decide to give blood because someone in their family needs blood or because of some event in their lives that has made them aware of the ongoing need, Mrs. Garner said. Others simply feel it is their responsibility.

"They told me, 'because it's the right thing to do.' It makes them feel good mentally as well as physically," Mrs. Garner said.

To give blood, a person must be over the age of 17 and weigh at least 110 pounds.

A list of Red Cross-sponsored blood drives during January follows:

*Jan. 5, Oak Forest Road Church, 2:30-7 p.m.

*Jan. 10, Red Cross office on George Street, 2-6 p.m., appointment only.

*Jan. 11, Excell Linde, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; O'Berry Center, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

*Jan. 12, Mount Olive Medical, 1:30-6:30 p.m.

*Jan. 19, Mount Olive College, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

*Jan. 20, Social Security office, 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

*Jan. 21, Berkeley Mall, 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

*Jan. 23, Home Health and Hospice, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Seven Springs Rescue Building, 2:30-7 p.m.

*Jan. 26, Goldsboro Milling Co., 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Red Cross office on George Street, 2-6:30 p.m., Eureka United Methodist Church, 2:30-7 p.m.

For more information about giving blood, or for directions to some of the above locations, call Mrs. Garner at 735-7201.