By Mary O’KEEFE
Tuesday’s Battle of the Badges blood drive was deemed a success with about 30 people stopping by the Crescenta Valley Sheriffs Station to donate.
The day was part of a friendly competition with public safety/law enforcement officers and sponsored by the American Red Cross.
“It started as a concept through the U.S. Probation Office as a way to bring badge carrying personnel together for a positive cause,” said Nick Samaniego, public affairs manager for the American Red Cross.
Over 100 agencies will compete from Jan. 18 through Feb. 10 in the blood drive. Crescenta Valley personnel as well as community members kept a steady stream of donors at the American Red Cross mobile unit’s door. “This [competition] is very important. It is another way to get people out to donate.We use 1500 pints of blood each day in Los Angeles and we have to import 40%,” said Barbara Jones, registered nurse with the American Red Cross.
Crescenta Valley resident James Martinez took time out to donate.
“I have 0 negative [type of blood]. I know that is rare and they [Red Cross] need it.We are all human beings and we all need to help each other,” he said.
For those who missed the Crescenta Valley Battle of the Badges but would still like to donate, visit the Red Cross website at www.redcrossbattleofthebadges.org or call (310) 948-3848.
It is estimated that only 3% of eligible blood donors in Southern California donate blood. In Southern California, the American Red Cross must distribute more than 400,000 units of blood each year to help patients in need, according to the Red Cross website.