HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. - Sue Feir always donated blood, but it wasn't until her husband died of cancer that she got serious about it.
As the director of the Hastings Public Library, Feir has helped organize blood drives at the library since November of 2006.
"My husband had died of cancer the previous summer so it hit home and I felt there was a little something I could do," she said. "The first one was actually in memory of my husband."
Now the library hosts three blood drives a year in Hastings. Drives are so prominent because of the ever increasing need for blood. Add to it the fact that out of eligible donors, only two percent actually go through with the process.
"Sometimes it's fear," she said. "Sometimes it's just not a habit, sometimes its convenience. Sometimes for people it has to hit home before they realize how much blood is needed."
Liza Reich, a donor relations associate with the New York Blood Center, agreed that people don't always realize the need for blood.
"Sometimes it's just not on someone's radar because they've never had firsthand exposure," Reich said. "So it's just something they wouldn't have had exposure to or experience with."
One in three people will need a blood transfusion at some point, according to Feir. That’s what makes the need so pressing.
"We have artificial hips, we have artificial knees, we can put in brain implants, but chemistry and medicine has not figured out a way to replicate blood," Feir said. "It's from the human body and no place else."