With summer here in full swing, the chances of accidents happening increases and the number of blood donations, unfortunately decrease.
For that reason, Sharon Melvin and her church, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church are hosting a blood drive Saturday, July 18, from 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
This is the second blood drive event for the church. Last year, Melvin said, the church had a goal of 30 units of blood, but were able to receive 33 units. They are setting a goal of 30 units again this year.
Melvin, who works with the American Red Cross, has coordinated the event for the past two years. The project started after church members expressed their interest in hosting a blood drive, allowing the community to help in any way they could.
“I was willing to help in every way I could,” Melvin said. “I wanted to help educate the community and encourage the people to donate. I have been working to stress how important it is to donate blood and hold a blood drive.”
The majority of blood donations are received through high schools. With school out for summer, Melvin said the number of donations coming into the American Red Cross is down and that’s why it’s important for churches and other organizations to step up and help.
“We rely on the community to come out and help supplement when the schools are out,” the organizer said. “During the summer, you have more accidents and more blood is needed. Unfortunately, donations are down.”
For those interested in donating, Melvin said you can call the church to schedule an appointment. If someone is unsure about donating, the church is available to answer questions and appointments are not a requirement, just recommended so the wait time the day of the event isn’t as long.
When donors arrive, there is a process the church follows. Physical exams are performed to ensure donors meet the criteria required. Certain medications can keep someone from donating, as well as certain medical conditions.
“This is just one hour out of your day,” Melvin stressed. “An hour out of your day that can save three lives.”
For each pint of blood donated, Melvin said three lives can be saved. That, she said, is why it’s important for as many people to come out as possible.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call the church at 910-564-6630.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.