• 55°

Community attends blood drive

Members of the Farmville community gathered to donate blood and potentially save the lives of those affected by injuries or illnesses during a blood drive held at St. John’s Lutheran Church on 1301 Milnwood Road on Wednesday.

Members of the church estimate that they have hosted blood drives for approximately five years.

Mabelle Bloker said she had initially attended the blood drive to volunteer but then decided to also donate blood.

When asked how often she has donated blood, Bloker said, “Many times.”

“When I lived in the Outer Banks, I gave three gallons (total),” she said. To help those interested in donating blood, she said, “Drink plenty of fluids.”

Laura Dooley, senior account manager of Blood Services at American Red Cross in the Lynchburg area, said the holiday season can be a difficult time to hold blood drives, noting that illnesses are more common during that time of the year and that people often travel.

“We are asking donors to make every effort to keep appointments (to donate),” Dooley said.

She said people can make appointments and even detail their health history at the Red Cross website, www.redcross.org/give-blood and www.redcrossblood.org/rapidpass.

Dooley said that she encourages people before donating to sleep well the night before and to be well hydrated and eat nutritiously before and after the donation. A list of recommended foods, she said, are on the website.

Bloker said the potential to help people who may need blood as a result of accidents or illnesses motivates her to donate.

“It saves lives,” Bloker said. “I think that’s why we want to give.”

Lauren Anema said for her, making the community aware of the blood drives is how she best works to help.

David Dalton, of Victoria, was waiting to donate blood Wednesday afternoon. This donation would be a milestone for him, as he said after that donation, he would have given six gallons of blood.

He said he first started donating in 1979 while he was attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

Dalton, a Boy Scouts leader, said he has also donated blood at the church in the past to help a fellow boy scout, Kyle Anema, with an Eagle Scout project.