Local resident celebrates milestone blood donation with the American Red Cross
FARMINGTON, CT (October 29, 2014) – What started out as a way to get involved in his new company turned into a life-long habit for Windsor, Conn. resident Gary Rubin. A photo of Gary is attached.
In 1979, Gary moved to Connecticut to take a job with Northeast Utilities (NU). During his first few months at NU, he learned that many of his new colleagues were regular blood donors and would donate regularly when the company hosted blood drives for the American Red Cross, so he decided to join them. “It was something of a social outing,” said Gary. The group would donate blood and then go out to lunch afterwards.
“I started joining them, in part, to be part of the group. I was a bit nervous the first time but when I had no problems donating and no ill effects afterwards, it became part of my routine the four times per year NU hosted drives.”
On October 29, 2014 at the Farmington Blood Donor Center, about 35 years after his first blood donation, Gary reached the 17 gallon milestone with the American Red Cross.
“We are so thankful to blood donors like Gary, who take the time out of their lives on a regular basis to donate blood and platelets,” said Jeff Meyer, CEO, Connecticut Blood Services Region. “Approximately, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, and having regular blood donors helps us to keep a stable blood supply on the shelves.”
Now, recently retired, Gary continues to make blood donation a regular part of his life, “As time went by, the original group I donated with broke up but I continued to support blood drives in the various offices I worked in. I started donating at the Red Cross in Farmington when the office drives kept getting scheduled at times that were inconvenient for me. Plus I can donate more frequently than the 4 times a year most companies run drives.”
When asked what he would tell a potential first time blood donor, the veteran donor had this to say, “It only takes about an hour of your time, it is virtually pain-free and you are helping others anonymously. There is such demand for blood for treatment of various illnesses, especially if you have a rare blood type. It's not something that can be manufactured in a lab and you can't donate money to buy more, you have to "give a bit of yourself" to help others.”
For those interested in making a blood donation, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App or visit redcrossblood.org and search for any available blood drives in your area or select one of three blood donation centers in Connecticut:
Farmington Blood Donation Center:
209 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06032
Wednesdays: 12:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Saturdays: 6:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Fairfield County Donor Center
596 Westport Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851
Tuesdays: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Saturdays: 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Norwich Donor Center
45 Salem Turnpike
Norwich, CT 06360
Mondays: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Thursdays: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
PHOTO CAPTION: A photo of Gary Rubin during his milestone 17 gallon blood donation at the Red Cross Farmington Blood Donor Center.