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Neighbors: Give blood

Hello neighbor.

I recently read about how a propane company in Dedham and the American Red Cross partnered to collect more than 750 blood donations throughout the state this summer.

I didn’t realize that one blood donation could potentially help save the lives of up to three people.

My sister Dorothy and I understand the importance of giving blood, because our dad has needed many transfusions over the past few years. We are forever grateful for those who made them possible.

Some give blood because they believe it’s the right thing to do, while others do it because a family member or friends need it. Still others do it because they are asked or feel guilt about not doing it. Whatever the reason, thank you to those who have given and continue to give.

Yes, you have to endure a mini-checkup when you arrive to give blood and, of course, you can’t be completely freaked out by needles.

When you arrive, they check your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin to make sure you are eligible.

You should have a light meal or snack and plenty of fluids before you arrive. Bring two forms of identification (license and donor card or something else) and you should bring a list of the medications you are taking.

Here are a few tips from the American Red Cross for a successful donation:

∎  Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet by eating iron-rich foods, including fish, poultry, beans, spinach, raisins and iron-fortified cereals.

∎  Get enough sleep the night before.

∎  Drink an extra 16 ounces of water or non-alcoholic fluids before the donation.

∎  Eat a healthy meal before, avoiding fatty foods.

∎  If you are a platelet donor, you cannot have aspirin in your system for two days prior to the donation.

During the donation, you should wear a loose shirt so the sleeves can be raised above the elbow. Then, listen to music, talk to others there, read or just relax. After it’s all over, you’ll be provided a drink and light snack to replenish.

What’s most important is for you to enjoy knowing you are, at the very least, helping someone, and at most, saving someone’s life — maybe one of your neighbors.

Enjoy the weekend!

ORGANIZERS OF THE FREE HARVEST SUPPER, which will be held Aug. 17 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the Greenfield Town Common, are looking for a few more volunteers. If you would like to help set up or do some flower arranging at 3 p.m., please email:

THE GREENFIELD SOLAR CHALLENGE will hold a Solar 101 workshop on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Greenfield Community Television’s studio. If you’d like to learn about Greenfield’s innovative Solar Challenge program and how to reduce energy costs with solar photovoltaic systems, then you should attend.

The workshop is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Anne Perkins, a solar coach for Solar Challenge, at:

THERE WILL BE A NEIGHBORHOOD BLOCK PARTY on Federal Street from noon to 5 p.m. on Aug. 23 at St. James Church on the corner of Federal and Church streets in Greenfield.

The idea grew out of a neighborhood walk that followed a Sunday service this past winter. During that walk, a group of about 25 participants found diverse neighborhoods throughout town that included everyone from low-income families looking for affordable day care to neighbors who get together for lunch on occasion to business districts, which included social service agencies, merchant and banks.

All are invited to the party. Organizers are asking businesses, especially those surrounding St. James Church, if they would help their community by giving financial support for food, games, entertainment and more. All proceeds beyond covering costs will go to local social service agencies.

The church plans to invite several of those agencies to the party.

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS DUNKIN’ DONUTS franchisees recently awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Annali Yurkevicz, a student from Sunderland. The award was part of the franchisees’ program that provides 50 students from western Massachusetts with scholarships each year.

Students were selected on the basis of well-rounded character, including a positive academic record and demonstrated leadership.

Congratulations Annali and thank you franchisees for supporting local youth.

THE OLD DEERFIELD PAINTING GROUP will present its 25th annual Exhibition of Paintings at the Deerfield Community Center on Memorial Street in Old Deerfield on Aug. 23 through Aug. 31 from noon to 5 p.m. and on Fridays until 7 p.m. A reception will be held Aug. 24 from 2 to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit:

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: up to noon two days before you want it to run.

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