ORANGE – State Representatives Kathy Kennedy (R-119) and Charles Ferraro (R-117) on Wednesday hosted a widely successful Blood Drive at the High Plains Community Center in Orange facilitated by the American Red Cross. Both legislators also participated as blood donors.
“I want to thank everyone that attended Wednesday’s Blood Drive. With all the slots for blood donors being pre-filled weeks in advance, it was great to see so many members of our community band together for this life-saving cause,” said Rep. Kennedy.
Rep. Ferraro said, “We are so grateful that this strong community effort resulted in such an impactful amount of blood donated to the American Red Cross. Thank you to everyone who attended Wednesday’s drive, and we encourage anyone who is able to donate blood themselves. It helps tremendously during this blood shortage.”
The legislators spent the afternoon at the Drive, each donating a pint of blood. According to the American Red Cross, blood donations help accident victims and burn survivors, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and people who are battling cancer.
According to Peter Boucher, the Accounts Manager for the Red Cross and the legislators’ liaison, the Orange Blood Drive collected 29 pints of blood from 35 donors. Donors were asked to register in advance for a scheduled appointment, which helped ensure the health and safety precautions being taken by the Red Cross throughout the event.
The Red Cross reports that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. is in need of blood with the organization in continual need of blood donations.
According to the American Red Cross, blood donations can help cancer patients, trauma patients, sickle cell patients, burn patients and patients with chronic diseases. Donations can also be separated into components, which can help more than one person.
Due to a national blood shortage, both legislators voted last year in favor of a new law to allow 16-year-olds, with parental consent, donate their blood to voluntary blood donation programs.
Most healthy individuals can donate blood every 56 days. In order to be eligible to give, the donor must be at least 16 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good general health. Donors are also encouraged to eat a well-balanced meal and drink a lot of fluids prior to donating.
For more information on blood donation, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543). To schedule an appointment to donate, visit www.redcrossblood.org