Blood drive helps those who need it most

........................................................................................................................................................................................

A Socorro community blood drive will take place after Thanksgiving weekend from 1 to 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 26 at the Youth Center, 1002 Ake St.

There needs to be a lot more people donating, said Youth Center director Cindy Rivera. For two years, Rivera has been appointed by Socorro Mayor Ravi Bhasker to organize the blood drive.

The biggest problem is the lack of people who donate blood in the Socorro community, she said. Previous donors register with Rivera, and she puts them on an email list.

Reminders are sent out months and then weeks in advance, letting donors know about the blood drive so they can donate, Rivera said. The blood collected at the drive goes to the blood bank in Socorro, she said.

"People are afraid of getting sick and weak. I have been doing this for two years, and I have never seen people black out," Rivera said. "They are afraid it will happen."

Snacks will be given to people who donate, and there will also be a drawing for a $50 gift card from Walmart. Every blood drive tries to do something different, she said.

But, Rivera said, people shouldn't donate blood to get rewarded.

People who want to donate should give her a call at 838-3974, and she will schedule an appointment.

According to the American Red Cross website, donors need to be healthy, at least 17 years old in most states and weigh at least 110 pounds. The ages of people who have donated blood in the past have been age 55 and under, Rivera said.

Donors' blood sugar is screened at the blood drive, Rivera said, adding that while older people and people with diabetes think they can't donate, often they can.

Rivera thinks it would be interesting to see a competition between banks in the community to see whose employees can donate the most blood, to get more people involved.

At the blood drive they are accepting all blood types. Type O-positive and Type O-negative are the most needed because those types can be used by someone with any blood type, she said.

"The blood drive is for a good cause; don't wait to save a life today," Rivera said. "The life you save could be your own. Please come and donate. Socorro needs it."