Be a hero by donating blood

Published 8:11 am Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What does it take to be a hero?

And not just any run-of-the-mill hero that pulls kittens from trees or helps old ladies cross the street, but the kind of hero that saves multiple people’s lives in some of the most horrifying situations imaginable.

Does it take the ability to leap tall buildings? X-ray vision? Maybe the ability to stop a speeding bullet?

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Nope, nope and nope.

All it takes is about an hour and 15 minutes, a sugar cookie and a small glass of juice.

That’s all.

To be a hero, the life-saving kind, all you have to do is be willing to be a donor at “Butler’s Biggest Blood Drive.” The drive is being sponsored by the American Red Cross at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

It’s our chance to make a difference and become heroes.

The State of Alabama is in dire need of blood donations.

Of the 30 percent of people who are eligible to donate blood – men and women age 17 and up that weigh at least 110 pounds – only 4 percent of people do so.

“(The shortage is) bad enough that we don’t even have enough blood to supply the hospitals here with all the blood they need,” Red Cross representative Megan Jefferson said. “We need to collect 600 units a day, and we’re not even close to getting that.”

In fact, Alabama regularly has to have blood imported from other states when there is a need.

That was the case for Butler County’s Ronnie Whitman who had to wait nearly 14 hours to receive a much-needed blood donation.

Fourteen hours is just too long, when as a community we can take an hour and 15 minutes and donate blood that will then go to our local hospitals. The Red Cross is the primary supplier for both L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital and Georgiana Hospital.

An hour and 15 minutes and one donation of a single pint of blood will save up to three lives.

That short amount of time and your donation could save the lives of three people here in Butler County.

It will certainly guarantee that you will be someone’s hero.