Donations flowing at BHS blood drive

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2001

As news of the attack on America spread throughout thecommunity, residents began searching Tuesday for ways to lend ahand.

“I could not believe the response just from our area. I couldn’tanswer the phone fast enough,” Layla Edwards, executive director ofAmerican Red Cross’ mid-south Mississippi chapter, said.

Since the local Red Cross has no immediate plans for disasterrelief, Edwards suggested people donate blood to the thousands whowere injured in the attacks.

“There’s not much else we can do right now,” she said. “OurDisaster Services Human Resource volunteers are on alert and standby, though.”

The regularly scheduled blood drive at Brookhaven High SchoolWednesday could not have come at a more critical time.

“We already had a full slate of students ready to give, andwe’ve had great response from the community,” BHS sciencedepartment head Amy Rutland said of the early turnout.

Some who were searching for ways to help were glad for theopportunity to donate blood.

“I felt like my family was fortunate, and I wanted to give tothose who were less fortunate,” Anna Umberger of Ruth said. Shenoted that her family was counting their blessings, because hersister-in-law was standing in front of the White House when a planestruck the Pentagon.

Alicia Warren, a local paramedic, knew she would do everythingpossible to help when she saw the World Trade Center Towerscollapse on emergency workers Tuesday.

“We watched everything happen… and being in the EMS field, Iwas affected by it,” she said while waiting to give blood.

School officials were surprised and delighted by the number ofpeople who came to show their support.

“We had people waiting in line before the blood services set upthis morning… and the room has been full since 8:45 a.m.,”Rutland said.

In only 45 minutes, 56 people had already donated blood. Theblood drive will continue until 3 p.m. in the BHS science buildingjust off High School Street on the east side of the campus.

The blood will be flown with other blood donations from aroundthe state to New York and Washington via a National Guard airplaneas soon as possible, according to blood service officials.