Sam Weiss and Family Honored by American Red
Representatives of the
extended family of Sam Weiss were honored June 1, 2002 at the National
Convention of the American Red Cross, held in Phoenix, AZ, for their 26 year
tradition of donating blood as a family on the first Saturday of the New Year.
The families of Sam, and his sister Elaine Parker, have donated a total of 1036
units of blood. Starting in 1976, the family has donated as a family the
first Saturday of every New Year as a “Living New Year’s Resolution” to give the
gift of life.
right are Kelsey Mittendorf (Sam's grandniece), Vicki Mittendorf (Sam's niece
and Kelsey's mother), Tim Parker (Sam's nephew), Elaine Parker (Sam's sister),
Rebecca Weiss-Clark (Sam's daughter), Sam, and Pat Kennedy (member of the
American Red Cross Board of Governors)
Last May, Chairman of the
American Red Cross David McLaughlin and the President & CEO of the American Red
Cross Harold Decker announced the American Red Cross Family Blood Drive
Initiative. That first time program actively encourages everyone in the Red
Cross family – volunteers, employees, retirees, friends, relatives – to donate
the gift of life to others. Their stated hope is that this program will grow
and grow, as if it were being passed down from one family generation to the next
as the Weiss/Parker family has done for 26 years.
Sam’s father and mother set an
example for their family, and the American Red Cross feels that this family has
set an example for all others including the Red Cross family. Sam’s father
Morris Weiss, who retired from the Navy Reserve as a CPO, donated 177 units
before he died in 1985. Sam’s mother Shirley Weiss donated 23 units in her life
time. Sam has donated 123 units. Also donating are Sam’s daughters Tracy
Rebecca Weiss-Clark, and Julie Threlfall with a combined total of 90 units. His son-in-law Brion
also donated 8 units. Sam’s sister Elaine Parker, her husband Jim, their 3
daughters and 3 sons, and their 3 son-in-law and daughters-in-law have donated a
combined 607 units. And now the fourth generation includes Elaine’s 2
granddaughters who have donated a combined 8 units.
A plaque was presented to the family by the
American Red Cross in memory of Morris and Shirley Weiss and commending the
family for their blood donations. The plaque will be displayed in the
Portland OR Blood Donor Center along with a framed copy of the 1980 Poster that
featured the family.
was privileged to give a rousing speech to the some 2500 delegates at the annual
national convention that encouraged them to follow his family’s tradition and to
start a tradition of their own. Since as many as 3 people can be assisted
by a single unit of blood, Sam emphasized that his family has donated enough
blood to assist everyone at the convention and many of them even a second time.
His remarks were so well received that Sam later meet several people at the
blood donation site at the convention who were donating for the first time
because of what he said. Sam, to further demonstrate that he walks the
talk, also rolled up his sleeve and donated at that time.