When local resident and former city councilman Doug Smith donated a pint of blood to Carter BloodCare in 1990, he was a 38-year-old parole officer. He didn't expect that, 29 years later, he would be preparing to donate his 100th pint.
“As long as I'm able to give, it's my responsibility,” Smith, 67, told the Herald-Press Tuesday. “There are many out there who can't give blood.”
Smith began donating blood to the local hospital as a young man. He was guaranteed, if he or a member of his family needed his blood, it would be available. Since then, giving blood has become a duty of sorts to his fellow man.
“Giving blood isn't a hobby,” he said. “It's a perishable item – and without it, we become perishable items. If someone is physically able to give, they should.”
Keoni Holoman, spokesperson for Carter BloodCare, said she's seen quite a few active donors, but not many who make it to the 100 mark.
“We're very excited,” Holoman told the Herald-Press. “I hope people see Mr. Smith as an example of why they should give all year long.”
Recently, the U.S. blood supply has hit record-low levels; the average supply in centers across the country is 1.1 days.
“This is unlike any shortage I've seen,” Holoman said.
Smith said he doesn't want any special recognition for doing what he feels is his responsibility. He wouldn't mind, however, being an example – if it motivates others to donate blood.
“If I can do this 100 times, anyone can get in here,” he said. “There are people who haven't donated once. Hopefully, this will motivate a few of them.”
Carter BloodCare will be at the YMCA Monday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, call 1-800-DONATE-4, or visit carterbloodcare.org