PITTSBURG — On “Giving Tuesday” people gave blood and volunteered for the Red Cross.
The Monday and Tuesday blood drive at Countryside Christian Church exceeded the goal for both days with 54 and 45 units of blood donated respectively.
Pittsburg drives collected 638 units of blood this year, which is 21 units more than 2017. This figure does not include the drives hosted by Pittsburg State University, City of Pittsburg employees, Pitsco, the Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce and blood drives at Frontenac, Girard and Weir.
“The most interesting fact from our community drives is the consistency of donations,” Red Cross Volunteer Coordinator Paul Lyle said. “We are always around the 100 unit level every drive and that is a testament to the commitment of our donors.”
One donor, Ron Womble, has donated blood since he was a freshman in college in 1969.
“It’s one small thing I think I can do, it makes me feel good knowing I can help someone else,” he said.
He said the first time may be a little scary, but it’s really not so bad and the small stick in the arm is a small price to pay.  
Volunteers are essential to making the day a success because it helps the Red Cross. Although there have many “wonderful people” who volunteered this year and through previous years, Lyle encourages people to consider helping out during blood drives, with age being a factor.
Eleanor Snider has volunteered for 10 years. She joined because she thought donating blood sounded like a great thing to do.
“If I could help in anyway I could I would, and I’ve enjoyed it,” she said.  
For 30 years, Marie Chiappetti has helped with blood drives. She also serves the community as  a Pink Lady at Via Christi Hospital.
“I just enjoy seeing people and helping out,” Chiappetti said.
Nancy and Richard Normand have volunteered for four years. On Tuesday, they helped with snacks and escorting people to their seats after they gave blood.
Snider, Chiappetti and the Normands said volunteering is also a good way to get out and meet people. Richard Normand said he likes to visit with the donors and learn about how many times they have given blood in their lifetime.
Lyle thanked Pitt Discount Liquors and Pepsi Cola Bottling Co. of Pittsburg for sponsoring blood drives this year.
People looking for an opportunity to donate or volunteer can search and sign up for blood drives at the American Red Cross website at www.redcrossblood.org. People can also contact Lyle at 620-240-0960.
There are four more blood drives in 2018 at Frontenac High School, Senior Citizens Building in Weir, Eagle Beverage and Kansas Crossing Casino, according to the American Red Cross website.
More dates and locations include Jan. 22, 23 at Frisco Event Center for the Battle of The Badges, March 25, 26, May 21, 22, July 22, 23, Sept. 17, 18, and Nov. 19, 20 at Countryside Christian Church.
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.