Joyce Mullins, of Edray, reached an impressive and helpful milestone Friday when she topped the 18 gallon mark for donating blood to the Red Cross Bloodmobile.
Mullins first felt called to be a part of this important program in the 1970s when she was a cook at the White Sulphur Springs Junior High. She wasn’t sure how she could donate blood while maintaining her work schedule, but that dilemma worked itself out.
“I was at work, and I looked out the window and saw them [Bloodmobile] across the street at the church,” Mullins recalled, “and I said, ‘I can walk right over there.”’
And she has been finding her way to the bloodmobile ever since.
While living in Greenbrier County, Mullins kept an eye out for the Bloodmobile, showing up at Ronceverte and Lewisburg, in addition to White Sulphur Springs.
When someone referred to her as a “generous donor,” Mullins was quick to say that she is more of a “faithful donor.”
“I feel like it’s something I can do for people,” she said.
Oddly enough, Sunny Given, of Clover Lick, who has been donating blood since the 1970s, hit the 18 gallon threshold Friday, as well.
Given said her father inspired her to become a donor.
“I started donating blood when I was in high school,” she said. “I give blood as often as I’m allowed. When I went to college, I donated to the blood bank, and I don’t think they counted that in my total.
“My father was a big blood donor when he worked for Carbide. He gave seventeen gallons. When he was deferred, he began volunteering as a driver [for the bloodmobile], picking up donors.”
Given said the process is pretty simple. There is a health screen, the donor’s iron level is checked as are temperature and blood pressure.
There is a long questionnaire that must be completed prior to donating blood, and it is always available at the bloodmobile location.
The questionnaire is also available online at red cross.org, and can only be filled out the day of your donation. Doing it online saves time at the site.
“I recommend that everyone give blood at least once,” Given said. “It is the gift of life.”