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Blood drive nets 49 pints for Red Cross

Despite some stormy weather Wednesday afternoon, the people of Greenville proved once again they will support a good cause.

The parking lot of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce stayed full for most of the day during the CBS 8 Greenville Donor Round-up.

The drive was open from 12:30 until 5:30 p.m. and had expected to draw 35 pints of blood.

However, that number was far surpassed.

&uot;We collected 49 pints,&uot; said Chamber Executive Director Carol Lee. &uot;I think the weather may have kept a few people away but it still went well. I think it was the second biggest blood drive we have had at the Chamber.&uot;

American Red Cross Donor Recruiter Helen Carroll was also pleased with the drive.

&uot;The drive was very successful,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;We collected 49 pints of blood which was well over what we expected. Initially, we had expected to collect 35.&uot;

Carroll said she was very pleased with the turnout despite the elements.

&uot;A lot of lives were saved and the response was great,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;Despite the bad weather the people came out and showed how much they cared.&uot;

Carroll said she received enormous support from Carol Lee and the Chamber of Commerce.

&uot;Carol Lee and all her staff were tremendous,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;They really did a great job in helping save lives.&uot;

She said the accomplishment of 49 pints was even greater considering summer is usually a slow time for blood drives. This is generally due to people often being out of town during summer and others decide to have high-risk surgeries during a vacation.

The success of the Greenville drive should help to close that gap.

Carroll said the blood is especially important because each pint has a destination.

&uot;Every pint of blood we collect has a name on it,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;It will go to someone with a name. That is why we take it so seriously. We are trying to save lives.&uot;

Carroll said people in need of blood are special to someone and that pint of blood can give them a second chance at life.

&uot;This is not about numbers,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;This is about aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers. We are trying to save lives. We need to have the confidence the blood will be there.&uot;

Carroll said through successful drives like the Donor Round-up they hope to meet any demands that arise.

&uot;We want to make sure the right product is there for the right person,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;When we talk about blood we are talking about human beings. That is why we take what we do very seriously.&uot;

Carroll said she knew she could always count on the people of Greenville and Butler County.

&uot;Greenville has always played a big role,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;For TV 8 and the Chamber to partner in this is tremendous.&uot;

Carroll, who is working on donating her tenth gallon, said the best part about donating blood was the bond it can give.

&uot;Blood is a wonderful thing because it is something all human beings can share,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;I get so excited every time someone tells me their lives have been saved.&uot;

Carroll said there are still problems getting people to donate.

Of the 60 to 70 percent of Alabamians who are eligible to donate only about 3.9 percent actually do.

Carroll said because of the short life of blood she hoped people would donate as often as possible.

&uot;Blood can only last about 42 days unless it is frozen,&uot; said Carroll. &uot;What a lot of people don’t realize is that they can donate every 56 days. That can save a lot of lives.&uot;

The requirements for donors are simple.

In order to be an eligible donor a person must be 17 years old and weigh 110 pounds.

Carroll urged those who have never participated to strongly consider donating this summer.

Carroll felt once new donors saw the difference their donation could make they would continue to help.