Elizabeth H. Dole, national president of the American Red Cross, visited Baltimore yesterday to honor Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. employees for giving 200,000 pints of blood over 40 years. BGE is the leading corporate source of blood donations in Maryland.
But, Dole added, more is needed here.
"BGE is a wonderful role model for companies throughout the country," Dole said. "It's a great partnership with the Red Cross."
"Right now, during the busy holiday season, the region is experiencing shortages, so it is doubly important to give the gift of life now," she said.
Dole said the Baltimore-Washington region is short in blood types O positive and negative and B positive and negative. The holiday season usually has a drop-off in donations. High school and college students who donate are on vacation, and shoppers have other presents in mind than blood.
About 400 BGE employees who have each donated at least five pints were honored by the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region of the Red Cross at a lunch at the Camden Club at Camden Yards.
Drives by companies account for almost one-fourth of all blood given in the area. Dole noted the Red Cross serves 34 hospitals in the greater Baltimore area and 82 in the region. To meet regional needs, the agency says it must collect 1,100 pints a day.
The Red Cross said BGE was the first in Maryland to organize a blood drive, held Dec. 1, 1958, when the Red Cross Bloodmobile visited the company on Front Street.
Doris Trainor, director of BGE employee relations and blood program coordinator, said her co-workers give more than 4,000 units of blood a year. The 16 company-sponsored bloodmobile sites conduct 45 to 60 drives a year.
Dole commended Mary DeKuyper, Maryland area Red Cross chairwoman from 1992 to 1994, for her work on several national Red Cross programs including strengthening the Red Cross major gifts program. "We value Mary's expertise in nonprofit management," Dole said.
The year's 15 major disasters, including hurricanes Mitch and Georges, resulted in the most costly year the American Red Cross has ever had.
People who want to give money can call 800-HELP-NOW, Dole said.
The area Red Cross is looking for prospective blood donors. They are asked to call 800-GIVE-BLOOD for an appointment.
The six regional centers, which are open from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, are:
Baltimore: 4700 Mount Hope Drive, Seton Business Park.
Bel Air: 2021 Emmorton Road.
Columbia: 10400 Little Patuxent Parkway.
Glen Burnie: 30 Greenway Ave.
Towson/Lutherville: 1134 York Road
White Marsh: 7939 Honeygo Blvd.
Pub Date: 12/04/98