Re the recent announcement by the American Red Cross about opening a blood donation facility in the Augusta area, and the letters you have printed since:
While I applaud those who donate blood and blood products, remember that the name of the local blood bank is the Walter Shepeard Community Blood Center. What is collected by the center is used at local area hospitals. Over 90 percent of all blood components collected last year at Shepeard went to Richmond, Columbia, and Aiken County hospitals (my source is the Shepeard Community Blood Center 1996 Annual Report, which was a special advertising supplement to your paper on Jan. 16).
Unless the American Red Cross can say the same about any donations it may collect (that the blood will be used in the Augusta area, and not in a population center away from Augusta), then I cannot understand the reason for using the Red Cross for blood donations.
As for those who have voiced complaints about what they felt was indifference or mistreatment shown to them by Shepeard staff members, I have to disagree. Perhaps I have been at the center at the wrong times but I have never had staff members give me the impression that they did not appreciate me taking the time to donate. I have always found the staff to be very professional in the way they conduct themselves, and very courteous to the donors.
J. Murga, Belvedere