By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
SIX months after its inception, the Blood Donors Society of Grand Bahama (BDSGB) held its first blood drive and was pleased with the turnout of donors who also signed up with the volunteer blood donors registry.
Lededra Marche, BDSGB president, said the blood drive was a success and that they are planning to have a second one in April.
The BDSGB launched the 'Gift of Life' blood drive in the foyer of the Rand Memorial Hospital in early December, and was excited by the number of persons who responded, particularly men.
Mrs Marche said she was pleased by the support of donors and sponsors who immediately came on board to support the event.
"It was so heartwarming seeing those beds filled and knowing that everyone was coming out to give of themselves for people they didn't even know. That's what it's all about, giving the gift of life and expecting nothing in return," she said.
Mrs Marche said the donors, some of them husband and wife teams, did however receive a small treat as a thank you, compliments of the Freeport Oil Company Limited (FOCOL). Prizes were also given to the first female and first male donors.
The organisation achieved its ultimate goal as everyone who donated also joined BDSGB's volunteer blood donors registry, she said.
Mrs Marche thanked the Grand Bahama Health Services and the Bahamas Red Cross Grand Bahama Centre for partnering with them in the initiative.
She also commended the many sponsors who came on board like Subway's Restaurants, Western Bakery, Coca Cola, Millennial Designs & Printing, Total Media Bahamas, The Jeanie Express Courier Services, Imagine Graphics & Printing, Trinity Fashion, Office Plus, Kelly's, and FOCOL.
"The BDSGB is now planning for the next blood drive scheduled for April 2018, when we expect those who have expressed interest in coming on board will do so and help to make next year's event an even greater success," she said.
"We're a six-month old organisation and we are excited about getting the word out about the selfless act of giving blood, the warm feeling you get inside when you do, and the fact that it is actually the one thing that you cannot say you don't have.
"We're not asking people to give money, we're asking everyone to give blood. Now, if for whatever reason you can't give, you can give money to help the organisation reach its goals, which is to get as many people on the volunteer blood donor registry."
The BDSGB is working towards getting corporate Grand Bahama to assist it in the purchase of a big red bus to conduct mobile blood drives in the community.
Mrs Marche said the organisation plans on "hitting the ground harder next year and going into the schools, businesses, houses, churches and speaking to civic organisations to educate the public, dispel the myths, and recruit more donors."