BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The 32nd annual WLOX Holiday Blood Drive is off to an impressive start. American Red Cross officials said on the first day of the three day blood drive more than 200 people signed up to be donor. The first day ended with 209 pints collected. The drive continues at Edgewater Mall on Tuesday from noon until 6 pm and New Year's Eve from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Becky Thornton said by giving blood she is honoring her son's memory and perhaps saving some family from the grief of losing a loved one.
"I had lost my son seven years ago. He was killed instantly, but if he had not have been he would have needed lots of blood and I, for him, I do this," said Thornton. "So that if anyone else is like that they'll get it."
For 32 years people have gone to the WLOX holiday blood drive to roll up their sleeves..
"I give blood to help others. I know it's a good cause and I know there's a need for people to actually receive blood," said William Harrison.
Sherry Stapleton said, "I've been giving for about 20 years. It's just the thing to do. It's just the right thing. People need to get out and do that more. It's just what it's all about especially during the holiday season."
Scarlett Farrior said her job has shown her first hand how this saves lives.
"I'm a nurse and we give a lot of blood at the hospital and sometimes patients have to wait a couple of days to get the units," Farrior said, "I've also had a very good friend who needed blood and had to wait to get it so that's when I started giving."
That lesson of giving has been passed on to Farrior's 17-year-old daughter Emily Delancey who wore a green sticker signifying she was a first time donor.
Emiley Delancey said, "It's a really good role model. She gives of herself, so I give of myself."
"The needles are not that bad. Time. It might take you an hour, hour and a half," said Farrior. "If it can give someone else life or make their life a little easier, why not?
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