Alene Sparks has faithfully volunteered at Cleveland community American Red Cross blood drives for more than 25 years. Unable to donate due to anemia, Sparks has given countless hours over the years greeting donors with a smile and a friendly acknowledgement.
A blood drive will be held in Sparks’ honor Oct. 6 from noon-5 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 100 S. Division.
Sparks became a Red Cross volunteer in 1989, eventually serving as the Cleveland County blood drive coordinator. She says her greatest joy is seeing old friends who come to the drive to donate.
“I enjoy seeing the same donors every 56 days,” says Sparks. “And, I’m proud of my community for supporting the Red Cross and helping to save lives.”
Between blood drives, Sparks stays busy serving as president of the Cleveland Hospital Auxiliary and spending time at the local senior center.
The drive in Alene Sparks’ honor comes at a time when the Red Cross urges donations to help recover from the summer shortage. Through the first two weeks of September, the Red Cross is down more than 10,000 donations from what is needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for emergencies large and small. Declines in donations can lead to blood shortages and make it difficult to meet patient needs should a disaster or emergency occur.
To schedule an appointment for the Cleveland community blood drive honoring Alene Sparks, simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
How to donate blood
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.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.