East El Paso motorcycle shop teams with United Blood Services for blood drive

Sunday, January 27, 2013 - 12:00am

It was an assembly line of giving. El Pasoans lined up to register at the blood drive today. Donors waited patiently for their turn to save a life.

"We're so grateful for the community for coming out for this. And we're grateful to the Barnett's for allowing us to come in to their business both here in El Paso and Las Cruces," says LuAnn Wieland from United Blood Services.

One of the shop's owners, Marc Barnett, started the tradition after blood donors saved his life when he had leukemia.

This is the 14th blood drive at the El Paso location, and so far, it's been very successful.

"Yesterday, we had a record Friday, the best in 7 years. An absolute record, yeah, with about 340 donations," says Wieland.

Most people here are no stranger to donating blood. John Valenzuela donates because his blood type can help anyone.

"I've been donating blood for awhile because I'm O positive, which is mostly needed," he says.

Benjamin Harrison donates blood because he says it's his civic duty.

"Just something I like to do once a year. Just like voting, same reason I joined the army, allows me to give back to the community, do my part," says Benjamin Harrison.

And for those who are terrified of needles -- many of today's donors insist you're in good hands when you donate here.

"Most of the people who are doing this, they know what they're doing. Even myself, I've sometimes had veins that are sometimes hard to find and they always get it on the first time," says Paul Estrada.

Participants were also encouraged to be tested for bone marrow and register as donors.

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