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When Kristin Sawyer says thank you to blood donors, she means it.
Sawyer, American Red Cross donor recruitment district manager for eastern North Carolina, wouldn’t be here if it were not for the generosity of those who have taken time out of their day to give blood.
The Greenville woman joined an army of volunteers at Fike High School’s annual blood drive Thursday.
“This is still the largest one-day high school blood drive in the nation, so we couldn’t have done it without their support,” Sawyer said. “I would personally say thank you because I am a recipient of 100 units I had to have to stay alive. I had a transplant for something like leukemia, aplastic enemia. I would just say thank you because without them I would not be alive. My kids would not be alive and so it’s very personal to me. When you are waiting for blood to come up and you are waiting on that hospital bed, it changes your perspective, so we are just very thankful to our loyal donors who help to truly save lives today.”
Destiny Moody, a junior at Fike High School, said she gave a pint Thursday.
“It made me feel like a better person just to help somebody in need,” Destiny said. “It was easy. There weren’t any complications.”
Moody appreciated the effort of her classmate who came out to give.
“I think it is a good thing that they did it,” Destiny said.
Student Courtney McKeel, a junior, said giving was a fairly quick and easy process.
“It was a little bit of pain, but not too much,” Courtney said. “It’s a good feeling to be proud to have this many people in your community give blood.”
Courtney said she would encourage people to donate blood because it supports a good cause.
“Today has been really great. The flow of traffic has been really good,” said Jessica Dumong, a health science teacher at Fike High School whose students helped put on the event with American Red Cross personnel. “I have heard several donors mention how quick they have been in and out and they have been very pleased with that so we are very proud of that piece of the process. It’s been very smooth. We have had lots of walk-ins.”
Sawyer said it’s a county-wide effort to make the drive happen.
“We really thank the school and the teachers for putting this on and then just all of the donors that have come out,” Sawyer said. “We have had a good mix of community and students to come out and support and help save lives.”
“We would like to thank every blood donor and every person who has even tried to give blood but were unable to, all of the staff here, the students, the community, the Red Cross, Brewmasters, Schmidt Law,” said Dumong. “Everybody has joined together and has made this a great event as usual and we are already looking forward to next year.”
Lori Walston, parent-teacher organization president at Fike, said the students do an amazing job.
“It has been a great event for several years and I am proud to be a supporter,” Walston said. “It’s a lifesaving effort. It’s something that is a very simple thing that you can do to help your fellow citizens. For every blood donation, you can save up to three lives.”