The Hamasa Shrine Theatre ballroom was filled with blood donors from the Meridian area Thursday.

Jane Smith of United Blood Services says things went well.

“Its been pretty steady and people aren’t having to wait a long time, and that’s good because we have about nine booths set up and they are going through pretty fast,” Smith said.

Most people dropped by on their lunch hour as food and drinks were provided at the blood drive. Pizza was served and episodes of the popular television series “MASH” were played on a large-screen TV.

“We have a lot of people at lunch, then things typically slow down after that until around 5 p.m. Then we have a lot of people come and donate after they get off from work,” Smith said.

Paul Bucurel, a frequent blood donor, said giving blood is a simple thing a person can do to help another life.

“It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t cost anything and since it saves lives, it’s worth it,” Bucurel said.

Jane Smith’s husband, Eddie Smith, said he doesn’t understand why more people don’t give.

“Some people don’t seem to understand the importance of giving. It hits home when they have a wreck, or a loved one gets hurt, and there’s not enough blood in the blood bank,” Smith said. “Its so simple to give.”

One final note: Jane Smith said she has a blood drive coming up in Butler, Ala., and that it will be her last blood drive before she retires on Jan. 5.

Smith said she’ll miss the job, but looks forward to retirement.

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