Three generations give the gift of life

Three generations of blood donors
Pat Satterwhite (seated), Bob McFarland and Wendy Chester are proof that giving blood is all in the family. Bob is pictured here holding a plaque he received in 2000 for donating 26 gallons of blood.

For some people, giving the gift of life is in their blood. For three generations of one Hickory family, that statement rings true.

Robert “Bob” McFarland, now 87, began donating blood to the American Red Cross while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. To date, he has provided more than 100 recorded donations – that’s 26 gallons of lifesaving work.

Bob’s daughter, Pat Satterwhite, fondly recalls the work her father did not only as a Red Cross donor, but also as a volunteer.

“Dad started giving when I was little,” she remembers. “He inspired others to give.”

Bob worked on numerous blood drives and even arranged for Red Cross drives at his workplace, Newman Machine Company in Greensboro.

Pat said her father not only inspired co-workers to give to the Red Cross, but motivated her to get involved as well. A donor herself, Pat also helps organize quarterly blood drives at the First Church of God in Hickory, which collects around 100 units every year.

“We are really proud to be associated with the Red Cross,” Pat said.

Pat’s daughter, Wendy Chester, grew up with the Red Cross in her blood. Now a student at Appalachian State, Wendy is a regular volunteer and donor at the college’s blood drives. Her assistance aided in a record-setting drive among U.S. colleges, collecting more than 1,200 pints with this year’s drive!


3-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15
First Church of God Blood Drive
306 14th St. SW, Hickory, NC,  28602;
(828) 322-1621.
Hamburgers, hotdogs, and donated food will be available.
Dressing in Halloween costume for the event is encouraged!

 To make an appointment today for this drive or another drive near you, call 1 800 RED CROSS or visit


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