Arlington Resident Shines as Blood Drive Sponsor

December 11, 2009

The American Red Cross is honoring longtime blood drive sponsor and Arlington resident John Hodges as the Northern Massachusetts District’s “Sponsor of the Year” for his longtime commitment to hosting blood drives within his community. For the past ten years, Hodges has sponsored a blood drive at his church, the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, and with the help of generous volunteers and blood donors, the drives have collected 535 units of blood for patients in need.

Over the years, Hodge’s blood drive has transformed into an Abington blood-collecting community event, and the church now holds blood drives five times a year. The next blood drive will take place on Saturday, November 7, 2009 from 9AM to 2PM at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington at 630 Massachusetts Avenue.

Hodges first sponsored a blood drive in 1978 when he was an undergraduate at MIT, and he has been a blood donor since 1976. A whole blood and platelet donor, Hodges has made an impressive 302 donations throughout his lifetime. When he was temporarily deferred from giving blood, Hodges continued to volunteer his time with the Red Cross, serving as a Disaster Services volunteer. Six years ago, Hodges was a kidney donor and he now serves on the board of directors for the United Network of Organ Sharing as a Living Donor Representative. Because the need for blood never diminishes, the Red Cross is appreciative of dedicated sponsors like John Hodges who help ensure that lifesaving blood is on hospital shelves when it’s most needed. 

Every day, the Northeast Division must collect 3,000 units of blood just to meet the basic needs of patients across New England. The difference a donor makes in the life of a patient is something that simply cannot be overstated.

Blood can be used for patients undergoing many surgical procedures, organ transplants, trauma and chemotherapy. For some patients, such as the victim of an automobile accident, the need for blood is sudden. For others, ongoing transfusions are needed to sustain lifesaving medical treatment.

Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.  Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. For additional information regarding donor eligibility or where to give blood, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE or visit

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