Carter County Republican Women to host blood drive this weekend

With the holiday season just around the corner, the community is getting ready to spend their time and money to help those in need, but perhaps many do not realize some of the most crucial gists they can give is inside their own bodies.

The Carter County Republican Women are preparing for their newest form of community outreach, a blood drive, and they need as much support as they can get.

President Juanita McKinney said this is their newest addition to service projects they do on a regular basis.

“It is life-saving,” McKinney said. “It is something we do not think about until we need it.”

Blood transfusions are common in more serious injuries, such as from car wrecks, where extra blood is needed to replace what the victim loses.

“You can go down the road and not realize you can get hit, and you need life-saving blood,” she said.

Donating blood uses the donor’s blood type to determine the eligibility of someone to receive it. As someone with O-negative blood, McKinney said she can donate to just about anyone.

“I do not know whose life I am saving,” she said.

This anonymity, however, is irrelevant next to the good she said she does in donating, a passion bred in part from personal experience.

She said her father had a blood transfusion through a truck window after a wreck.

“Personal experience is your biggest wake-up call,” she said.

In a similar way, many people can end up on waiting lists for organ transplants like kidneys for months due to needing the right blood type.

Those looking to donate will need to fill out certain paperwork that confirms details on the type of blood they will be giving, since not just anyone can donate blood.

Even those who cannot donate to actual victims, however, can mark their forms so the blood goes to research, instead.

“It is not something sitting on a shelf,” McKinney said.

The blood drive itself will take place at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s in Elizabethton from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., located at 173 Hudson Drive.

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