Recently I attempted to donate blood through the Red Cross at the library. I say "attempted" because after 90 minutes of waiting, I finally left and went home to feed my very hungry animals. Normally, I have an appointment but due to my work schedule, I was unable to make one this time and apparently that was the main but not the only problem.
If the Red Cross wants to continue to attract people to donate, especially in these desperate times when blood is so badly needed, they have got to step up their game. I do not in any way blame the library as it is merely the venue but I have had this problem several times in the past as well. It is a lot of hurry up and wait.
I arrived, with a coworker at 6 p.m., we received our numbers and each took a seat. They were running behind at that time and were not yet taking those who had arrived for their 6 p.m. appointment. Soon after they began taking those who arrived for their later appointments. Now the two of us kept getting pushed back further and further behind those who had scheduled appointments. Next thing I know it is after 7 p.m. and they are still ignoring the walk-ins.
I finally was taken back into the donation area leaving just one man in the waiting area. The Red Cross employee never greeted me, never apologized for the long wait, never said a word beyond asking my name and the rest of the required information. After passing all the preliminaries and answering the computer questions I let her know I was finished. I then waited and waited some more. When I came out a second time I saw the man who had been behind me already in a chair waiting to give blood. My coworker, who was taken before me, was also in a chair but not yet hooked up to donate (she did not leave until 8:15pm). That is when I finally left.
The people from the library knew I was upset and apologized but this is not their issue. It is something the Red Cross needs to address and immediately. None of this will ever deter me from giving blood; in fact, after going through the entire process with the exception of actually donating, I was very disappointed that I unable to give. But I could not delay feeding my livestock any longer.
Please do not let this letter deter you from donating but be forewarned that unless the Red Cross finds some way to improve upon its waiting time, you will need to (even with an appointment) plan to spend some time waiting to do your patriotic duty.
Dee Litchford — Franklin, N.C.