Blood donors rolling up their sleeves at Edgewater Mall - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Blood donors rolling up their sleeves at Edgewater Mall

The holiday blood drive continues on Wednesday from noon until 6pm and on Thursday, 9am-2pm at Edgewater Mall. (Photo source: WLOX) The holiday blood drive continues on Wednesday from noon until 6pm and on Thursday, 9am-2pm at Edgewater Mall. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Hundreds rolled-up their sleeves at Edgewater Mall on Tuesday to donate the "gift of life." This marks the start of WLOX's 33rd annual holiday blood drive.

Mississippians are known for their generous spirit of giving. And the large afternoon crowd at the blood drive is a testament to that generosity. For David Powell, it's become a life-giving habit.

"It's the right thing to do. I've been giving my entire life. This makes 149 today. And it's something good to do over the holidays. Doesn't cost you anything but your time," he said.

First time donors are certainly welcome, but most everyone we visited with has donated blood before. Rolling up your sleeve seems to be habit forming.

"This is a regular thing for me. I do donate blood on a regular basis, when my iron level is up," said Julia Platt.

Why is it something she cares about?

"Just the need of it. When you advertise on TV that blood is needed. So, several years ago, I just decided this was something I needed to do."

"When I was 18 I had to get off an air base and I had to give blood before I could get off. That was it," said Bill Rabbold, describing the first time he donated.

"I've just always been involved in the community and Red Cross has done a lot for us during Katrina, so it's time to give back," said Loretta Burns-Knighten.

"Giving blood is a good thing. It might help somebody," said Jamie Jordan.

This marks the fourth time for her to give.

"My son's school sent home a notice that they were having a blood drive at school. So, that's how I got started," said Jordan.

"I've been giving blood since 1976 when I joined the military. Gave it to a fellow service member back in those days and just continued on," said James Radford.

"I try to give flood every chance I get. Help save a life," said Carl Oberlies, who is also a regular donor.

"It helps people. If I can save a life, or a chance of saving a life, that's great."

The holiday blood drive continues on Wednesday from noon until 6pm and on Thursday, 9am-2pm.

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