Would you bleed with me? Most people won’t. When they are confronted with a problem in our community, they may complain about it but they will not do anything to try to correct it if it involves the least bit of physical or financial inconvenience to them.
We almost lost our Red Cross Blood Bank and Donor Center on Dawson Road last year because of budgeting problems. The facility has been temporarily spared, but is not totally off the chopping block, to my understanding. We need to support this facility as a community because it is vital to Southwest Georgia and the service which it provides is literally a matter of life and death. We need Blood & Money.
It may take something shocking to really appreciate the facts. Back in 1999 when I was undergoing chemotherapy, I would frequently see small children in the facility at Phoebe Putney Hospital who were getting chemo or a blood transfusions. The blood and platelets collected by the Red Cross were literally keeping those small souls alive. If that does not make you understand the importance of giving blood, I can’t explain it to you.
Following my bout with cancer, which, thank God, was successfully resolved, I was forbidden from donating blood for a period of years, as are many folks in our community. I am now back to a point where I can regularly give blood. I was shocked to recently learn, like most things in our community, there are few folks carrying the load for everyone. According to Red Cross statistics 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood, but only a small fraction does so.
During the week of November 5th, our law firm will be sponsoring the annual Georgia/Auburn Red Cross Blood Drive, a competition between the Georgia Bulldog fans and the Auburn Tiger fans to see who can donate the most blood. We are fortunate to be assisted in this effort by perhaps the greatest Bulldog fan in the world, Dee Mathews, and Auburn stalwart, Luke Flatt, of Albany Bank and Trust. We skipped last year because we thought our facility was closing. Given the risk of our loss of the Red Cross facility, the question becomes, will you bleed with us to save a life? Will you come out and donate Blood & Money for either the Tigers or the Bulldogs or just for the good of our community? Will you consider the possibility of donating money to this excellent organization to show the folks running it that the Southeast Georgia Community is behind this facility and wants to keep it?
Donating blood or platelets does involve a little physical inconvenience, but it is nothing compared to what I saw those children going through in 1999. Yes, making a small financial contribution may cost you the price of a pack of cigarettes or a six pack of beer, but using the money for the good of our community will not only be a healthier alternative, it will also produce a much better result.
This is your chance to show through the donation of blood and money how much our community as a whole is willing to bleed, not only because we support the Auburn or Georgia football programs, but also because we are proud of and support our Southwest Georgia Community. We not only need to bleed red and black or blue and orange, but also red and green. We need donations of Blood & Money.
I look forward to seeing you at the Red Cross Blood Bank and Donor Center on Dawson Road during the week of November 5th. Bring your checkbook and be prepared to roll up your sleeve. Will you bleed with me?
Alfred N. Corriere is a partner in the Albany law firm of Vansant & Corriere LLC.