WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The American Red Cross believes in donating where the need is greatest, and one Wilmington woman agrees and has for more than 60 years.
"I can't say what really, truly inspired me," Carole Bryant said. "I mean, I was in the air force, and maybe it was during that time that I was in the military that I started. I was in my 20s, so you know, apparently, that was it. Just try to help people."
And that's exactly what the 79-year-old veteran has done.
A regular trip to the Cape Fear Blood Donor Center Friday was not so regular when employees told Bryant she's reached a lifetime donation of 50 gallons. It's a level few people in the entire country can top.
"They don't let me forget it," Bryant said of the Red Cross.
Bryant's family not only support what she does. They've joined in to do their part for the community, too.
And this hometown hero does not just inspire and set out to help thousands by blood donations.
"Children that need extra help, just try to give them the extra attention that they need," Bryant said.
She may be retired, but Bryant manages to keep what seems like a full-time job: Volunteering every week at area schools and the YMCA, but she's not slowing down any time soon.
"No, it never ends, because I'm a giver," she said. "So I give, give give. Wherever I can give."
But she had no idea how much. So when Red Cross employees awarded Bryant with her 50-gallon pin, thanking her for all she does, her response? It all comes down to the people.
"I like to help people," Bryant said. "I still do."
To donate blood to the Red Cross you must be at least 17 years old. There is no upper age limit as long as you are well with no restrictions or limitations to your activities.