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Elizabeth Mitchell, 19, started giving blood as soon as she was eligible because she says it was a very easy way to help other people. She remembers coming to blood drives as a little girl with her parents, saying, “When I was old enough to understand what they were really doing, I wanted to do the same. For me, it’s just another thing to do every 56 days, like getting my oil changed. Donating blood is one of the easiest ways to help other people. It doesn't cost anything but an hour of your time, and you get free cookies, what could be better than that.”
Every time Elizabeth donates blood she takes someone else with her. Sometimes it’s her parents, but many times she’ll bring a friend who is a first time donor. “I have never donated by myself. I have gotten quite a few people to donate blood with me, but more importantly, I have gotten them to go back and donate again,” said Elizabeth.
Donating blood is something in Elizabeth’s genes. Her parents, Joseph and Sally Mitchell, donated blood on their second date. They enjoyed ice cream together after the donation and have been giving blood ever since.
In the few years since she became eligible, Elizabeth has already donated blood more than 17 times. Her younger brother, Stephen, is also a loyal blood donor. He hopes to out-donate his big sister some day. Elizabeth says that will never happen, but she’s up for some healthy competition.
—Elizabeth Mitchell, Manlius, NY
Those who participate in donating blood or platelets May 27-31 will receive a free Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
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