Simple Gifts

I don’t think there is another act as simple and as generous as blood donation… honestly – 45 minutes of your time, a single pint of your blood – three lives saved.  This summer, blood donations are at a 15 year low.  The need is great and you are the only solution (there is no substitute for blood).  So, take a minute and visit to find a blood drive near you – and just give. 

To get you in the mood to open your veins – let me tell you about one of countless medical professionals who spent their lives studying blood – Dr. Charles Drew.

Dr. Charles Drew was an American physician and surgeon and holds the distinction of being the first black surgeon to serve as an examiner on the American Board of Surgery in 1943.  He made his mark on the medical profession as a medical researcher and pioneer in blood banking.  Even before the US entered WWII, Dr. Drew began working as the medical supervisor of the “Blood for Britain” campaign – a precursor to the first American Red Cross Blood Bank.  Dr. Drew pioneered new methods of blood storage that dramatically increased the shelf life of blood and initiated the use of “bloodmobiles”.

Each year, at the Hometown Heroes Celebration, the American Red Cross of West Michigan honors community members who have demonstrated heroism through extraordinary acts of courage and kindness.  Our Heroes live their lives in the tradition set forth by our founding mothers and fathers.

The Dr. Charles Drew Health Advocate Award recognizes an individual who has dedicated their life to a cause that directly impacts the health and well-being of others.

Please help us tell the stories of the heroes in our community by nominating your hero today at


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