WINNSBORO — Community members rolled up their sleeves on a warm Tuesday afternoon, but it was not just to enjoy the weather. Rather, these folks had the purpose of giving the gift of life — blood.
Martha Renwick had never given blood before, but her family had a tradition of doing so.
“My husband gave a long time and he could not give today, so I am here representing the family,” she said.
Her family has been well represented at these blood drives in the past because Renwick’s twin sister, Barbara Martin, had coordinated the blood drive for over 20 years.
Renwick’s donation comes at a critical time for the Red Cross.
“Our blood supply is at a crucial level this time of year in particular because of recent storms in the Midwest and Northeast that caused blood drives to be canceled. Our goal is to collect more blood so we can export some (to those regions),” said Rolanda Hankins, senior recruiter with the Red Cross.
Many of the community members who came to First United Methodist to give were not looking in such grand terms, but each wanted to help by giving to the community.
“My doctor said it would be a good idea to start giving blood, so I started about three years ago,” said William Turner. “It’s a painless thing really and something we all should do, if able.”
Town Councilman Jackie Wilkes did his duty for church and community by rolling up his sleeves as well.
“(Event organizer) Barbara Martin does a great job,” he said.
Kitty Rabb comes to give blood every three months even though she knows she is at risk of becoming lightheaded and fainting. She just informs the Red Cross staff before she gives and they work with her to make sure she can do it.
“This time we saw a tremendous community response, more than just our church members,” Martin said. “There even were a few new donors. The Red Cross told us their numbers had been down this time of year so it was important that we meet our goals.” She said a few walk-ins helped up the count as well, though most people had appointments to give.
All total, they collected 28 units which was a great turnout, according to Martin.
In keeping with the spirit of giving during March, Red Cross Awareness Month, Fairfield Central High School will also hold a blood drive on March 28 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.