Be a red-blooded American hero

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Almost everyone celebrates the Fourth of July with a cookout with their entire family and a host of friends coming over to feast on the bounty of their grills.

As the chefs in the family fire up their trusty grills to show off their mastery of the art of grilling they don’t spare expense, making sure it’s a Fourth to remember.

Why do we do all this for our friends and family? Because we love them and want to show our love through this one day event that seems to bring out the &uot;American Way&uot; of sharing just a bit better than any other.

But, that is not the only way in which to prove love for others.

On Wednesday, July 6, you can give of yourself in a much different way; one in which you demonstrate that you truly are a Red Blooded American citizen concerned for others.

Additionally, the American Red Cross will host a Blood Drive from 12 noon until 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29 in Hertford County. That event will be held at the Fellowship Hall of the Ahoskie United Methodist Church.

Give Blood! That’s the never-ending message of the American Red Cross, and it remains in place because of the unceasing need for donors.

In particular, at this time of year, there is a critical shortage of donated blood, and not only in Gates County but also across the nation.

People just do not take the time in summertime when the living is &uot;vacationing&uot; and taking it a bit slower. It’s just so easy to lie back in a lounge chair and chill out rather than make that drive to the Blood Centers.

Ironically, summertime is also the time of the greatest need for blood. People seem to be more-accident prone in the warm weather months, and it is also the time when may elective surgeries are performed-not to mention unexpected surgeries and operations.

Ruby Joyce Buck, perennial Chairman of the Gates County Blood Drives,

has done a phenomenal job over the years of enlisting the help of many community organizations that assist the Albemarle Region Red Cross with the drives. Most recently, she lined up the Gates Ruritans to help out with Wednesday’s event, which takes place at the Community Center. And, of course, the Ruritans will have their wives with them to offer refreshments to donors once they have given their unit of lifesaving blood.

These people; Buck, the Gates Ruritans, other organizations across the county and their wives, all assist the Red Cross in so many ways. They even help the Red Cross move in equipment and set up for the drives. But, no matter how much they do, the Blood Drives are only successful if donors come.

As I said in the beginning, we all want to show our family and friends that we care. How much more could you care than to give your blood for them. Prayerfully, your family or friends won’t require blood anytime soon. However, how would you feel if they did and you had passed up an opportunity to give &uot;The Gift of Life?&uot;

I can tell you from a personal perspective; I feel guilty each time the Red Cross requests us as citizens of the county to come and give blood. I cannot donate due to chronic anemia and I truly hate that fact. I am reminded, after being tested to see if I can donate, that I am giving in my way through the publicity for the blood drives. Still, I so envy those people who can lie back and allow the Red Cross nurses to help them help others.

Every unit of blood you gives has the capacity to help three other people. Ruby Joyce Buck said the quota for our county this drive is 50 units. That means that if 50 donors show up, they will help 150 other people-some of whom may be their own family or friends.

I echo the Red Cross message; Give the Gift of Life –

Give blood! It only takes a few minutes and it’s virtually painless. After all, it is one of the greatest ways to show you truly do care.