The decision was not an easy one to make, Gergely said.
"The Charleston Donation Center represents a long-standing relationship in the community we serve, where blood donors have loyally given the gift of life on a regular basis."
Dreama Kidd, 57, is one of those donors who has given loyally. The Charleston resident has donated 13 gallons of blood over 105 visits to the blood bank. When she started donating around 20 years ago, the Charleston donation center was located the basement of CAMC General Hospital.
Kidd says the closure won't stop her from donating.
"I don't really like it," Kidd said of the closure. "I didn't like it when they went from four to two days [a week] but I'll just find a blood drive."
Blanche Tyree, 70, of Charleston, is both a volunteer and a donor at the blood center. She donates as often as she can and has for nearly 30 years, she said.
Tyree said she'll miss the camaraderie of the donors from the center.
"I was very surprised and disappointed [about the closure]," she said. "I enjoy talking to the people."
Anyone who would donate their blood to help other people has to be a fantastic person, she said.
Sandy Cox has been a volunteer at the blood center for the past four years.
"I was surprised at first and then I just wondered what [donors] are going to do," Cox said. "A lot of the older donors, this is the place they go... it's convenient for them."
The Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region will keep open its donation centers in Huntington, Parkersburg and Wheeling. It will also continue to hold blood drives in churches, businesses, schools and other locations, Gergely said.
Call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org for area donation opportunities.
Reach Lori Kersey at lori.ker...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240.