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Garland-Based Red Cross Volunteer to be Honored at Blood Drives

DALLAS, Texas (June 26, 2014) — Gary Wilkins has spent a lifetime helping others both locally and around the country through his volunteer work at the American Red Cross. When he was seriously injured recently in a motorcycle accident, his family and friends decided to honor Wilkins’ spirit of giving and pay it forward by partnering with the Red Cross for two local blood drives.

“It’s impossible to know when we’re going to be the ones who need help,” said T.D. Smyers, regional CEO of the Red Cross North Texas Region. “Gary Wilkins is one of our national treasures. He’s helped thousands of folks all over the country and now we want to honor him and his spirit of giving by helping others. People rely on blood donations every day and we want to be sure that it’s available when it’s needed. 

During his recovery, Wilkins has received 18 pints of blood. While his progress is slow, his wife, Paula, remains hopeful. “He’s making small steps each day and we’re all just so grateful for everyone who has reached out to help,” she said. 

Wilkins has traveled near and far to help others. A few of his notable volunteer responses include the explosion in West, Texas, last May’s deadly tornado outbreak in Oklahoma, Superstorm Sandy and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. 


In Honor of Gary Wilkins Blood Drives

June 28 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Firestone Complete Auto Care, 4570 W. Buckingham, Garland

July 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Dallas Hog Group, 1334 W. Centerville Road, Garland

Eligible blood and platelet donors are urged to roll up a sleeve and give to help prevent a summer shortage. Blood donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative are especially needed.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in Texas), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.


About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.