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Tuesday, 24 March 2020 13:53

'The need for blood never stops': Donors give at Roberdel Baptist

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Rhonda Singleton, of Rockingham, gives blood Monday during a drive hosted by OneBlood and Roberdel Baptist Church. Rhonda Singleton, of Rockingham, gives blood Monday during a drive hosted by OneBlood and Roberdel Baptist Church.

ROCKINGHAM — COVID-19 is heightening the need for a ready blood supply as businesses and schools continue to shutdown across the nation. On Monday, Roberdel Baptist Church did its part in helping to bring in donors while practicing social distancing at the same time.

Linda McKenzie, who has been coordinating blood drives at the church for 20 years, was passed the torch from the previous organizer and has been working ever since to help blood reach those who need it most. Since working with the organization OneBlood since 2017, the two entities have been able to do that in Richmond and Moore counties.

"We've been very pleased," McKenzie said of working with OneBlood.

"From what I've been told, because so many have canceled their blood drives, it's very important because the need for blood never stops," she went on to say. "There's a continuous need for it so that's why we're trying to do our part."

Other blood drives have been canceling due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but according to the FDA, the virus does not pose any known risk to blood donors during the donation process or from attending blood drives.

"They're trying to keep us all the six feet apart, and the regional director for OneBlood called our pastor and talked with him just to make sure everything was safe for our church," said McKenzie.

The goal, according to organizers, was originally 18 donors with 36 time spots available. They quickly filled up, so McKenzie added more with that number jumping to 50.

"The last time I checked it it was 40, but some people said they couldn't sign up because they won't let you do it in the last 12 hours," she said. "They won't let you sign up because they already have the number staffed for who's coming. We did accept walk-ins, and we've had several walk-ins."

Gary Brant, account representative with OneBlood, said in an email that of the 51 who signed up, 48 were registered into their system. Brant went on to say they collected 38 units of blood and with each unit being broken down into three products, these 38 units could touch 114 lives.

Those giving blood were given a $20 e-gift card and an aluminum bottle from OneBlood. The next drive at Roberdel Baptist is slated to take place on Monday, May 18 in the church's fellowship hall.


Last modified on Tuesday, 24 March 2020 20:40
Matt Harrelson

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