I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who participated in our seventh annual Community Red Cross Blood Drive held on Friday, May 3, at St. Anthony's Parish Hall in Shirley.
I also want to say a special thank you to our co-sponsor, the Ayer-Shirley Lions Club. Thank you to the many Lions members who helped out as donors and volunteers.
We are very grateful to Father Derosier and St. Anthony's Parish for allowing us to use the parish hall.
Thanks also go to Ann, Tania, Celia and Deborah from our dental office for all they did to make the blood drive a success. This was our most successful blood drive ever, thanks to the efforts of many dedicated volunteers and our generous donors.
It was heartwarming and inspiring to sit and talk with the donors. This year, we had a record number of walk-in donors in addition to the registered donors with appointments. We also had a record number of first-time donors. Many donors waited longer than usual to donate their blood because of the tremendous response we had for the blood drive. People of all ages came to give the gift of life.
There is a critical need for blood. Blood cannot be manufactured. Its only source is a healthy volunteer donor. The American Red Cross provides more than 40 percent of the nation's blood supply, collecting approximately 6.5 million units a year. Nationally, less than 5 percent of the population gives blood, supporting the other 95 percent. The New England Red Cross Region serves 170 hospitals and must collect 1,400 pints of blood every working day in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont to meet patient needs.
Giving blood is truly giving from the heart. We were very impressed with the many individuals who took time out of their busy day to give blood. They are all true heroes!
We hope to sponsor another blood drive next year. If you would like to give at a local American Red Cross Blood Drive, you can call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or log on to redcrossblood.org.
Thank you again to the local community for its wonderful support on May 3! See you next spring!
DR. ARTHUR F. EDDY
Family dentist in Shirley