Blood drive 'makes a difference'
By Robert TimmonsJanuary 29, 2021
Members of the Fort Jackson community stopped by the NCO Club Monday morning to donate blood at a Community Blood Drive.These drives are “typically held every two months,” said Will Sexton, Fort Jackson fire inspector and volunteer who set up the drive. “A person can donate every 64 days, so we have to hold (a drive) every two months in order to maximize a person’s opportunities to donate blood.”There are some restrictions set by the Federal Drug Administration for who can donate blood at the drive, which was open to anyone who could access Fort Jackson.Donating blood “is literally the least you can do,” Sexton said. “You have a good time and your blood can help up to three people. Of all the eligible people in the United States, I think only 19% donate blood.“There is a constant need for blood, and not just for people who are victims of trauma or other accidents,” he added.According to the American Red Cross every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. These include cancer patients whose bodies cannot produce the platelets needed; those undergoing trauma and need blood transfusions; help individuals with Sickle Cell Anemia; and burn patients who need plasma to help regulate blood pressure and other functions.“It’s a great opportunity to do a positive thing,” Sexton added. “And it absolutely makes a difference.”Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, 81st Readiness Division commander gave blood to save lives.“I donate blood as often as possible as a way to give back to the community,” she said. “There's no down side. It takes about an hour; you save lives; you get cookies. Do it again in two months. Simple."(Editor’s note: Sgt. 1st Class Jessica Espinosa, with the 81st Readiness Division Public Affairs Office contributed to this article)