GROTON, Conn. – According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, and one pint of blood from a single donor can potentially save three lives.

To help with local blood supply needs, members of Naval Submarine Base (SUBASE) New London’s Base Consolidated Telecommunications (BCT) department worked with regional Red Cross representatives to host a base-wide blood drive.

“This is very exciting for us because we have never really ran a blood drive mid-base,” said Jennifer Gartsu, account manager, Blood Services in Connecticut. “We’ve always been at [Naval Submarine School] and we’ve been down on the water front at [Naval Submarine Support Facility], so this was a great opportunity and as you can see the turnout is fantastic so that’s exciting for us.”

During the drive, BCT Sailors helped register donors and passed out snacks and t-shirts.

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Nadine Sia, coordinator, SUBASE New London Blood Drive, was also on hand encouraging people to participate.

“Every time you come across a blood drive you should donate,” said Sia. “I personally don’t like needles but if I have to get poked or lie down for 10 minutes just to save a couple lives, I’d definitely do it.”

Gartsu added that the donation process was virtually painless and people should focus on the ultimate goal of saving lives.

“[People] may be hesitant because they’re afraid it’s going to hurt but it’s such a quick little pinch and then it’s over,” said Gartsu. “What I like to tell people to do is focus on what they’re actually doing, which is saving lives. That’s a good feeling if they concentrate on that.”

SUBASE New London tripled its donation goal by collecting 53 pints of blood during the drive, which could potentially save 159 lives.

To learn more about becoming a blood donor visit the American Red Cross website at www.redcrossblood.org.

Oct. 11

Waterford Town Hall, 15 Rope Ferry Rd. in Waterford, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Oct. 14

VNA of Southeastern Connecticut, 403 N. Frontage Rd. in Waterford, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Oct. 15

St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1830 Route 12 and Clark Lane in Gales Ferry, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 17

Groton City Municipal Building, 295 Meridian St. Ext. in Groton, 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Oct. 18

Crystal Mall, 850 Hartford Turnpike in Waterford, 1 to 6 p.m.

St. Bernard’s High School, 1593 Norwich-New London Turnpike, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Oct. 21

Foxwoods Resort and Casino, 250 Trolley Line Blvd. in Mashantucket, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Oct. 22

Groton Town Police, 68 Groton Long Point Rd. in Groton, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Hugo A. Simonelli VFW Post 3263, 60 Stonington Rd/ in Mystic, 12:30 to 6:15 p.m.

Oct. 24

Wheeler High School, 298 Route 2, Norwich Westerly Rd. in North Stonington, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 25

Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, 365 Montauk Ave. in New London, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Niantic Community Church, 170 Pennsylvania Ave. in Niantic, 12:45 to 6 p.m.

Oct. 28

Ledyard Village Market, 733 Colonel Ledyard Hwy. in Ledyard, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 29

City of New London, 120 Broad St. in New London, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Oct. 31

Dealertrack, 115 Poheganut Dr. in Groton, 9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Connecticut Media Group