Peggy's birthday wish is for more donors
WHEN Peggy Scharf blew out the candles on her 90th birthday cake last Wednesday, her wish was for more people to come forward to donate blood.
It may sound like an odd request, but it comes from a lady who has been a passionate volunteer at the Hervey Bay Blood Donor Centre for the past 30 years, where the surprise birthday party was held and organised by adoring long-time colleagues.
"It was an absolute surprise and I honestly didn't expect it," Mrs Scharf said.
"The staff are always very kind and caring to me up there."
The Hervey Bay resident knows first-hand just how important it is to have blood donors after needing a transfusion following major surgery about 35 years ago.
Her late father and many friends have also been the recipients of life-saving donations.
"The blood bank took care of me and I really appreciated it.
"If they hadn't looked after me then I wouldn't be here now."
That's when Mrs Scharf first started volunteering at a blood donor centre in her home town of Gladstone: things were different then.
"We just had volunteers ... there was one nurse in charge that ran blood bank on a voluntary basis with her husband and got the donors in but it wasn't a big thing like it is now.
"It was just half dozen beds on the floor in the back of the Gladstone Hospital.
"Now it's one of the most important organisations we can have."
Mrs Scharf can now be found on the front desk of the Hervey Bay centre every Thursday afternoon, where she helps with paper work and fills in where ever else she is needed.
And if someone just goes along for moral support, there's no doubt Mrs Scharf would prompt them to give donating a go.
"Nobody knows how important it is until they receive a donation or a family member receives a donation.
"For me, it's very important and we always encourage people to give blood.
"It only takes an hour of your time every three months.
"For one hour every 12 weeks, you can save three peoples lives with a bag of blood ... and that's so important."
The Australian Red Cross Hervey Bay Donor Centre is located at 43 Hunter St, Pialba.