In 1985, Whitney added a Saturday blood drive to his schedule for another 15 years. In the year 2000, he and his team of volunteers set a goal of collecting 2,000 units and ended the year at 2,069.
Donning another smile, Whitney tells one of his secrets to success. He says he used to give a kiss to everyone who came. He’d sidle up to an unsuspecting donor while his team, in on the joke, would watch. Whitney would lean in, ask for a kiss, “And then I’d hand them a Hershey’s Kiss,” chocolate drop.
After 35 years, he retired from organizing drives and began his quest to donate platelets in all 50 states.
Before his donation, Atlanta Red Cross leaders gathered to hear from him.
“Al is absolutely incredible,” Doherty said. “His commitment to blood donation, through his personal donations and through the thousands of blood donors he has recruited, is truly an inspiration. Hearing from Al energized the room. Everyone was talking about him afterwards.”
He told them, “When people ask you what you do, say, I save lives. Somebody is going to have another birthday because of what you do.”
To make an appointment to give blood or platelets, donors can use the Red Cross Blood App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Find out more about donating blood.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.