Charleston Veteran Donates His 50th Gallon Of Blood

March 30, 2021
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Remember that time you’ve donated blood? Well, multiply that by about 400… that’s how many times one Charleston Veteran has donated.

Don Schaefer has donated 50 gallons and two pints. Don has helped thousands of people through his donations.

“The Red Cross has kept track of me and I’ve given 402 pints which adds up to 50 gallons and 2 pints,” Don says as he shows off his Red Cross Blood Donation records. “I would go and donate my blood because it is not difficult that it was just something I did or didn’t think anything about it.”

Don is humble about his 402 donations, he says it’s just something he does. “It doesn’t necessarily go through my mind but I I read about it people people remind me of it all the time.” It’s just a regular part of his life and it all started 65 years ago.

Don served in the Cold War in 1956, where surgical operations demanded more blood supply. “They were having a serious operation and they would ask for recruits to donate some blood so you have it on hand in case there was a problem.” Don tells WAND News. He’s kept it up ever since, donating every 56 or so days.

“The Red Cross tells me I supposedly help three people for every pint I give, live.” Now, Don knows exactly where his blood is saving lives. “It tells me where the last one went. This last one went to Mountain Home, Arkansas and to Nashville, Tennessee.”

The day of the interview, Don was not able to give blood. “The Red Cross marked me and gave me a red flag. They said I’ve given too much in the past year…” Shocker! Yet, that’s not stopping him. “but that’s all right I guess I can find another another one…I can’t give blood today but I can give tomorrow.”

When will Don stop donating? Well, that is the million dollar question.

<“When will I stop ? I have been asked that several times, my wife especially,  she wants me to quit. They tell me that as long as you feel good go ahead and there’s no problem. I really don’t know when I’ll stop, I couldn’t tell you.”

 Don even donates platelets and has inspired his grandchildren and community members to donate as well, even inspired one of WAND’s reporters to donate.  Don will continue to save lives, simply by rolling up his sleeve.

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