Families of Highway Fatalities host statewide summer blood drive in memory of collision victims

June 21, 2016

With the Fourth of July holiday weekend approaching, the Families of Highway Fatalities and the American Red Cross are hosting a statewide blood drive to raise awareness about the importance of highway safety while honoring those who have lost their lives on South Carolina roadways. 

For several years, the Red Cross has partnered with the Families of Highway Fatalities organization to give members an opportunity to remember their loved ones by giving the gift of life. Last year in South Carolina, about 950 lives were claimed by traffic collisions. Through community blood drives, families honor their loved ones’ memories at a time when the Red Cross often struggles to collect enough blood to meet hospital demand.

This year’s statewide blood drive comes just before the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Blood donations typically decline during the summer and especially around holiday weekends as donors prepare for holiday activities and travel. But the need for blood doesn’t take a break for the summer. Trauma patients, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood. There is no substitute for blood, and volunteer donors are the only source.

Laurie Harden’s daughter, Blaire, was killed in a collision in 2005. The smart and creative 18-year-old was starting classes at the University of South Carolina and dreamed of being a movie director. “She had a big heart and humor that was beyond her age,” Harden said.

Harden hopes the blood drive will honor her daughter’s memory while also shining a light on resources like Families of Highway Fatalities that are available to grieving family members. “I want to honor Blaire and know that if she had needed blood, it would have been readily available,” she said.

Donors can give blood in Greenville at Parkside Pediatrics on June 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. From Monday, June 27 to Friday, July 1, donors can give at five Red Cross donation centers in Charleston (Mount Pleasant and West Ashley), Columbia, Florence, and Myrtle Beach. Hours at each location vary.

As a thank you for their donation, presenting donors will receive a coupon for a free CheezyBread from Marco’s Pizza, while supplies last.

Donors can make appointments to give blood and platelets at six locations:

June 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Greenville
Parkside Pediatrics, 525 Verdae Blvd., Greenville


June 27 through July 1 in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Myrtle Beach (hours vary):

Columbia Blood Donation Center

2751 Bull St., Columbia


Florence Blood Donation Center

1555 W. Palmetto St., Florence


Mount Pleasant Blood Donation Center

920 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Mount Pleasant


Myrtle Beach Blood Donation Center

3681 Renee Drive, Unit #4, Myrtle Beach


West Ashley Blood Donation Center

2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Charleston


To make an appointment and for more information, download the free Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To learn more about the Families of Highway Fatalities, visit http://www.scdps.gov/fhf.


Items and offers are nontransferable and are not redeemable for cash.

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.

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.