According to Tim Gutierrez, the chairman of the Tucumcari Community Blood Drive held at Rhodes Gymnasium Saturday, the drive was a “great success.”
“I think everything went well,” said Gutierrez of the Tucumcari High School Student Council sponsored drive, “We had a good turnout and we had a steady flow of people who came out to donate their blood and we had no one who had any problems.”
Samantha Evans a senior at the high school who not only volunteered but also donated blood, said she had a little discomfort with giving blood as she imagined everyone does when faced with the concept of donating blood, but she said she overcame it since she saw it is as vital.
“This is the second year that I’ve donated,” said Evans who not that long ago moved to Tucumcari from southeastern Oklahoma. “I just see it as very important. It can save lives after all. People need it.” Evans said she weighed the idea of discomfort against the need injured and ill people have for the blood and said the decision was an easy one.
Local resident Virgil McDonald said he donated blood during the Tucumcari Community Blood Drive for much the same reason as Evans. “People need it,” said McDonald.
However, McDonald said he has been donating blood for much longer than Evans’s two years. “I have been donating since I was in boot camp,” said the U.S. Navy veteran. “That was the first time I did it. They pretty much ordered us to volunteer to donate and afterwards they gave us a steak dinner. I remember that steak dinner. I’ve been giving blood ever since, but that was the last time I got a steak dinner for doing it.”
At the blood drive at the gymnasium, a steak dinner was not on the menu for those donating. Instead volunteers had juice and cookies available to those who donated blood.