RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Alec Tubbs saw it as a rite of passage on his sixteenth birthday.
“I gave blood for the first time that day,” remembers the current VCU student.
Age 16 is when Virginians become eligible to donate blood. Tubbs, who is now 19, started a practice he hopes other young people begin.
At Virginia Blood Services on Emerywood Parkway, a wall lists the names of donors in the Society of 100. Each of them has donated 100 times or more, and Tubbs looks forward to reaching that milestone one day.
“I’ve talked to other people while I’ve been giving blood, a lot of older people who give regularly and they say, ‘I really wish I could have done this earlier in my life.’ Just given more to save more,” Tubbs explains.
To further his mission to inspire more young people to donate, Tubbs has organized blood drives at VCU through his Theta Tau fraternity.
“The more you can give to other people, hopefully you’ll get the same if you’re in the same situation,” he says.
Virginia Blood Services uses what is collected to boost the supply of red cells, plasma and platelets for patients when they need it the most.
“Giving more blood just keeps the cycle going,” Tubbs says.
January is National Blood Donor Month. To find a blood drive or donor site, follow this link.