B(e) positive: First Presbyterian Church hosts blood drive

Published 12:10 am Friday, April 26, 2024

SALISBURY — The smallest gestures can have the most lasting impact. For people who donate blood, it’s a selfless way to spend an hour of their time, but for those who receive it, it’s a lifesaving act of kindness.

On April 23, First Presbyterian Church held a blood drive in partnership with the American Red Cross to encourage residents to help out anyway they can.

“First Presbyterian has not had a blood drive in a long time and wanted to give back serving the community and interacting with the community in this way. A lot of people need blood for cancer treatments, for surgeries, for accidents, and they don’t always have the kinds of blood they need, so having adequate reserves is really, really important,” said Bill Hoyle, the drive’s blood program leader. 

Hoyle said there is a national shortage of all blood types due to only a sliver of Americans being eligible to donate. 

“It’s a pretty small percentage of Americans that really can donate. So if you’re the right age, there’s no upper limit on age, but in North Carolina you have to be 18. There’s a weight requirement, but everybody I ever see exceeds it,” Hoyle said. 

While Hoyle specified O positive as a “particularly popular kind of blood” since it can be given to most people, they aren’t picky with who walks through their doors. 

“We don’t turn anybody away. There’s somebody out there who will match with your blood,” Hoyle said. 

Elizabeth Bergsma is a “long time donor” with O negative blood, which is considered the “universal blood type” since anyone can get it regardless of what their own blood type is. 

To her, her favorite part of donating blood is “just giving back as I can.”

Thanks to the church, the Red Cross, and the people who donated, others have a chance to hope. 

“The church is really appreciative to the community for the way that Salisbury and this area have responded. It’s really positive to be a good partner in the endeavor,” Hoyle said.