By Sandi P. Beason
TUPELO – Robert and Depra Loving are going on a cruise, courtesy of United Blood Services.
“My husband is not fond of large bodies of water, but it's not intimidating to me,” Depra Loving said. “He said if I wanted to go, he would accept it.”
Robert Loving, a regular blood donor, won a 4-day, 3-night Carnival Cruise for two after giving blood in June. UBS will be giving away two more cruises to donors who give during July and August.
One donor per month will win, and the winner will be contacted at the end of the month that he or she gives.
Depra Loving said her husband gives blood as often as he can.
“He really believes in it,” she said. “Everyone there knows him. This is deserving.”
The Guntown couple will take their second honeymoon on the Carribbean cruise. They've been married since August 30, 1991. Depra Loving said Friday that their two children, ages 23 and 10, did not yet know about the cruise.
“My youngest son hasn't been home yet,” she said. “He'll want to go.”
Her oldest son, Marine Lcpl. Demon Harris, is in San Diego, Calif., after a second tour of duty in Iraq.
Judy Roat, community relations director for United Blood Services, said the promotion was intended to lure donors at a traditionally slow time of year for blood donations.
“Unfortunately with the forecast of heavy rains next week from Hurricane Dennis, we are also fearful this will be a factor with people not donating blood,” she said. “It's important that people remember to take some time out of their busy schedules to donate during July and August, rain or shine, to help maintain a safe and plentiful supply of blood for our community.”
And besides, said Depra Loving, it's just the right thing to do. If you or someone you love has an emergency, donated blood could be a lifesaver.
“It is helpful to someone,” she said. “I encourage anyone who can to give. The unexpected could happen. You just never know.”
For more information or to make an appointment to give, call 842-8871.