When the large manufacturing facilities in Surry County closed, mainly those that were textile related such as Cross Creek Apparel, Kentucky Derby Hosiery and Armtex, it didn’t just hurt the monetary portion of the community.
Some people may wonder why there are so many more small blood drives held today than there were 10 or 15 years ago.
At the Pilot Mountain Civic Club meeting Tuesday, Ginny Anderson, blood donor services representative for Surry County, explained that a lot of that has to do with the closing of the large industries which employed hundreds of people.
Anderson said her supervisor was the regional coordinator for the area including Surry County back 10 or 15 years ago, and when he served this area, he had a blood unit goal of 10,000 each year, of which Surry was the largest producer of units.
At that time blood drives were able to access 100 to 150 people in one location, thanks to the large number of employees at each of the manufacturing facilities.
To make up for that loss of large blood drives, a large number of smaller drives spread across the county have to occur.
But having the blood drives is just the beginning. People need to show up to donate blood as well, and that’s where help from the community comes in.
The first time I gave blood was in college, and I did it a couple of times during my four years. I had some trouble after giving, especially the last time in college. I ended up sitting in the chair in a lying position for several minutes, because I got light-headed and dizzy when I was finished giving my pint.
So I abstained from giving for several years. Then the auxiliary at Bannertown Volunteer Fire Department began hosting a blood drive each year, and I decided to give giving another try.
And I’ve given at least once, if not twice, each year since then. I do still have some trouble with the light-headedness at times, but I just make sure to eat and drink a lot before and after giving.
I encourage everyone to find a blood drive being held near wherever you work, live or play and donate blood. Just try it one time, then decide if it was worth it or not. Overcome fears of the unknown, fears of needles, and help save lives.
One pint of blood is divided in a way to save three lives.
Blood from our area, Anderson said, goes to hospitals in Forsyth and Surry counties to help with trauma situations, surgeries and other incidents which may require blood.
Each Sunday, The Mount Airy News publishes a health calendar, which includes a schedule of local blood drives.
The coming week includes a blood drive Thursday from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at White Plains Elementary School; Friday morning at Hugh Chatham in Elkin; Monday from noon to 4:30 p.m. at Pilot Mountain First United Methodist Church hosted by the Pilot Mountain Civic Club; and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Shoals Elementary School.
Wendy Byerly Wood is the associate editor of The Mount Airy News. She can be reached at email@example.com or 719-1923.