The Scotland County Chapter of the American Red Cross will wrap up March with a series of back-to-back blood drives held around Scotland County.
The Red Cross will host three blood drives today: from 1:30-6 p.m. at the St. Andrews University Belk Center, from 12:30-5 p.m. at the Scotland County Government Building at 507 W. Covington St., and one, open only to Scotland County Schools’ teachers and staff, at Wagram Primary School. Another blood drive will be held on Friday from 11 a.m.–3 p.m. at Scotia Village.
Individuals who are 17 years of age, or 16 with parental permission, who meet weight and height requirements of 110 pounds or more depending on their height, and who are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood.
On Wednesday, the Red Cross hosted a blood drive at Scotland Memorial Hospital’s Dulin Center.
“We’re always in need of blood of course; there’s always a constant demand,” said Maureen Marsh, head nurse at Wednesday’s blood drive. “What we need the most of is what we use the most of – that’s O positive and O negative, so anyone with those types we target the most.”
Red Cross volunteers on Wednesday also had help from volunteers representing the Laurinburg Junior Service League and Laurinburg Board of Realtors.
“It’s one of the ways we give back to the community,” said Guy McCook, a member of the Laurinburg Board of Realtors. “We’ve made a good living here over the years and it’s important that we contribute to the community that we live in.”
Donors at Wednesday’s blood drive recognized the constant demand for blood as well as hoping that the blood supply will be well-stocked in the unfortunate event that they need to draw on it themselves.
“We know there’s a shortage in the world and that donating helps to save lives,” said Purcell Strickland.
“I hope that kids and people my age will start to donate blood and help save other’s lives – one day they may need their lives saved,” Donovan Strickland added.
Stockpiling blood donations is more essential than ever as summer approaches, Marsh said.
“Now that we’re going into the summertime, our inventory really seems to go low around then just because we get most of our supply form high schools and colleges,” said Marsh. “Since they’re out, we’re not able to go there. People travel as well; they go out of town and don’t plan to give as much, so we definitely need a lot of extra blood headed into those months.”
The Red Cross aims to have about 30 individuals donate at each blood drive held.
“Our goal today is 30,” Marsh said. “We usually do get around that here - we get around 28 or go over by a few.”