03/26/09 — Red Cross to hold memorial blood drive for Dora Perry

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Red Cross to hold memorial blood drive for Dora Perry

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on March 26, 2009 1:46 PM

Dora Perry gave countless hours to the Red Cross for many years before her death Jan. 8.

Now to honor her work and memory, Dudley Christian Church is holding a blood drive in her name Sunday from 12:30 until 5 p.m.

Pastor Blane Smith said the church, where Dora attended regularly, has just started to hold blood drives for the Wayne County Chapter of the American Red Cross. After his wife needed blood to survive, the Red Cross has become a passion for the Smiths.

Although she did just about everything with the Red Cross, one of Dora's specialties was volunteering at blood drives, said Chuck Waller, Red Cross director. "She recruited blood donors and worked as a greeter and in the canteen at blood drives," he said.

"Dora was the most blood gettingist woman you've ever seen in your life," said Smith. "If you missed your scheduled blood drive appointment and she called and you said you'd just had a heart attack, she'd ask then when could you give."

In addition to blood drives, Dora also raised money during the chapter's Heroes Campaign each year. She also taught CPR and first aid and did service to the military casework when necessary.

Waller said she handled casework on single family fires, assisting families with finding temporary lodging and providing clothing, food and medicines when necessary.

"However, her greatest love was working in shelters during disasters," he said. "She ran shelters on multiple occasions locally when hurricanes threatened Wayne County in recent years."

Waller recalls her working 36 hours straight running a local shelter. "Once the danger passed, she went home, got just a few hours of sleep and answered the call for volunteers to go to the Outer Banks to work for a couple of weeks," he said.

"Her commitment to helping her fellow man will be what I remember most about her. It never mattered when or where or what the job was; if she saw that it needed to be done, she did it. She absolutely embodied the American Red Cross spirit."

"There's nothing better you could do to honor Dora then to give a pint of blood," Smith said.