Over 21 pints of blood were donated at the Mineola Memorial Library Wednesday afternoon as part of the New York Blood Center’s seasonal blood drive with all of the donations coming off of only 17 needles that had entered the arms of community members.
Several of the donors were inclined to give two pints; a couple of them belonging to a group known as the “Gallon Club,” which denotes status upon donating a gallon of blood over a period of time.
“Gallon Club” member and universal donor David Lopez had made his 12th contribution Wednesday. His O-positive blood type makes him prone to “regular calls from the blood center prior to each drive,” he said.
Steven O’Neil was a different story: as a more seasoned member of the “Gallon Club,” he takes pride in giving blood eight times a year, though it had been his first donation in Mineola.
After the trial of her husband suffering from brain cancer, Annette Carbone (recently retired) was determined to give back to the local blood center’s cause.
“Unfortunately, I’m not 110 pounds like I need to be in order to donate,” she said. “I’m only 108 pounds… But I still wanted to help out.”
Carbone found her own way to give back to the cause, serving as a nourishment volunteer for those who have recently just given blood themselves.
“Professional volunteers are very important,” Lead Donor Specialist Bruce Doncaster said. “It’s nice dealing with a healthy public instead of in a hospital where most are sick. The donors are nice, altruistic and are giving for a good cause.”
The demand for blood increases by 9 percent each year due to developing technology and surgeries, one of the driving reasons the New York Blood Center goes to great lengths to publicize their drives.
“We always try to collect more blood, but it’s never enough,” Doncaster said, warning that “you might not be dying to give blood, but someday you might be dying to get it.”