Sheriff’s Office, American Red Cross partner for blood drive

Published 7:03 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Suffolk Sheriff’s Office partnered with the American Red Cross Wednesday for a local blood drive.

Local residents dropped by Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront to give blood July 7 to help replenish supplies.

American Red Cross Collections Specialist II Amy Parrish said the collaboration with the sheriff’s office brought some positive competition to encourage donations.

Email newsletter signup

“Every year we have a Mayor’s Cup and all the cities compete to bring in the most donors and to save the most lives,” Parrish said.

When asked if there were any blood type shortages, Parrish affirmed that they are short of “all blood types.” She talked a bit about the difficulties in meeting the demand for blood as the summer season brings.

“A lot of our donors are out of town. They’re traveling, they’re not back in circulating and giving blood. We mainly look for O positive [and] O negative,” Parrish said. “[With] O negative, they can give [it] to trauma patients before they have time to type them.”

Suffolk residents Sonja and Andre Stevenson were among those who donated during the drive. 

When asked what made her choose to give blood, Sonja said that she had not been able to do it in a few years.

“I donated to help others,” she said.

Her husband Andre shared why he wanted to donate blood, reflecting on nearly dying at the age of 13 from blood loss. After a week in the hospital, he told himself that he would help give back if God gave him the opportunity.

“I said, ‘If I ever get a chance to give back, I’m giving back,’” Stevenson said, reflecting on his survival.

Parrish talked about the importance of her job.

“That we’re coming through with a positive attitude, that we’re bringing people in and people are realizing that what we’re doing is actually saving a life, making someone see another birthday, another anniversary.”