Volunteers help out at blood drives

Shawn Hardy
Joddie McGhee of the American Red Cross collected blood from Michelle Statler of Greencastle at the Church of the Brethren.

When it comes to giving blood, it’s not just the donors who roll up their sleeves and get to work — regular volunteers are always on hand to help out.

Ruth Rinehart was among those at the final American Red Cross blood drive of the year at Greencastle Church of the Brethren on Monday.

A registered nurse who last worked at Western Maryland Hospital Center, the 93-year-old has been a blood drive volunteer for 52 years.

Rinehart manned the registration table with Connie Overcash, also a retired R.N. Overcash’s mother, Betty Lee Fisher, “volunteered for years and years so I wanted to do it, too.” She also delivers Home-Delivered Meals in honor of her father, Arthur.

“I can’t give any longer so I do this for my mom,” Overcash said.

“I was asked by another nurse,” Rinehart recalled. “It’s something I need to do.”

Overcash pointed out that Rinehart knows a lot of the 60-plus donors who came through the door on Monday.

Donors included Michelle Statler of Greencastle, who gives blood “because people need it. My mother needed blood before she passed away so it’s nice to help someone else.”

Blood donations help save lives, according to Linda Pedersen of Waynesboro, who added, “I have very good blood, according to my doctor, I have the blood of a 20-year-old.”

“Walkers” sit waiting to escort donors safely to the snack table. Those volunteers include Saundra Starliper, Cindy Mohler, Linda Reed, Nancy Henry, Pat Esquer and others.

The snack table at Greencastle blood drives features more than just the cookies, pretzels, raisins and cheese crackers supplied by the Red Cross.

The Greencastle-Antrim Lioness Clubs and the Greencastle-Antrim Women’s Club take turns making ham and chicken salad sandwiches. Each donor gets half of each, according to Marie Myers, one of Monday’s “snack ladies,” along with Connie Keller and Ruby Shank.

People can give blood every 56 days and the next blood drive in Greencastle will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22, at the Church of the Brethren. Blood drives also are planned March 19 and May 21.

Donors are encouraged to make appointments to avoid waiting, but walk-ins also are welcome, according to Overcash. More information is available at 1-800-RED-CROSS or redcrossblood.org. A blood donor app also is available.