Church members and friends walked into the St. Thomas School annex, anxious to help Geraldine Perrone-Campbell.
"Thank you so much for coming," she told one woman while giving her a big hug.
"For four years since I lost my son Richie, I knew there was something more I need to do," she said. "It dawned on me that I could help the community and honor my son's memory through this blood drive."
Perrone lost her son on Christmas Eve 2000. He died after an accident on Wire Road. In a way, the blood drive brought him back to life.
"It does, because with this blood drive, it helps me to keep his memory alive," she said. "And that's very, very important to me, that his memory lives on."
Mrs. Perrone will never forget the joy her son brought her for 34 years. Since his death, that joy was often replaced by pain. So many friends coming out to help her run the blood drive eased that pain.
She also took solace in the fact that Friday would have been Richie's 38th birthday. So she brought a cake to the blood drive.
"It represents life," she said, referring to the blood drive, "another birthday for someone."
The blood donations were Mom's gift to her late son.
"I think he's smiling down on everyone here. It's a happy day for him," she said.
Perrone and her friends at St. Thomas Church in Long Beach set a goal Wednesday. They wanted to collect 40 pints of blood. It turns out they collected 46 pints, all in Richie Perrone's memory.