MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s a holiday tradition. A costume donning pre-turkey run around Manchester. But 2020 was virtual and different. 50 years into the Manchester Road Race, its Committee decided they wanted to do more.
“And we started the Blood Bank. And on that very first day, we collected 53 pints of blood,” said Jim Balcome, the Director of the Manchester Road Race.
Their way of giving back is starting this annual Black Friday Blood Bank. It has grown each year. In 2020, they saw a record turnout amid the pandemic.
Balcome told News 8, “We already have 360 people who have signed up to donate blood today. That’s from 53 to 360 – it’s just a monumental improvement.”
On its 84th year, runners couldn’t come together on the streets of downtown Manchester, but they turned out in socially distant droves inside Manchester High School, marking the event’s largest turnout ever. Blood donated these days will be checked for Covid-19 antibodies, which help patients recover from the deadly virus.
“Everyone right now is feeling down. They’re looking for things to do,” said Alissa Haight Aguda from the American Red Cross. “They’re looking to make a difference, and blood donation is one of those ways that people can help.”
If you missed this event, there’s a blood drive happening somewhere in the state every single day. Click here to find a blood drive happening in your area.