Sarah Bruch knows just how much small gifts can mean.
The owner of The Purple Tree on Second Street in Hudson, Bruch is also the mother of four boys. Two of her sons have a congenital heart defect that has required open heart surgeries, and with them, blood transfusions.
"It's just some of those simple things that you don't think about, like the simple step of someone donating blood really is the difference between someone living or not," Bruch said.
Bruch and The Purple Tree are now fostering those simple acts with an American Red Cross blood drive in front of the store from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30.
A customer who volunteers regularly with the American Red Cross first suggested the idea. Bruch's own personal experiences made it an easy decision to say yes.
"I bet almost everyone has somebody that has experienced a need for a blood transfusion," Bruch said.
Her oldest son was a little over 1 year old when he had what's known as a "one-and-done" corrective heart surgery, Bruch said.
Her youngest son was born with a more serious heart defect. His first surgery was the day he was born, Bruch said. He's had subsequent surgeries over the years, and has a high chance of needing more in the future.
"So you can rest assured I will be out there donating blood," Bruch said.
Bruch said the time her family spent in hospitals reminded her that there are people with even greater needs than her own family. When families are facing difficult situations like hers, Bruch said they should not have to worry about simple things like safe blood.
"I've become in awe that there are so many little unexpected gifts that are given that really make the world the positive place that it is," she said.
Being able to host an event that will help people who are in the same place of need she was is a place of hope and gratitude for Bruch.
"There are so many people that have always done this," she said. "And that reminder that there are so many good unsung heroes in our world that don't look for credit, you know, they just do it. That's really pure goodness."
Everyone has those times in life when they feel like there's no hope, Bruch said.
"But when you do little things like that all of a sudden your whole body is filled up and you're like, OK, I just did a little something that has such a huge ripple effect," she said.
The drive is going to be close and convenient for people in the area, Bruch said.
"People can come and have lunch downtown, do a little shopping and then give blood," Bruch said. "It's like the perfect day."
Bruch hopes the drive will become an annual event for The Purple Tree.
"I'd love to be that presence for the American Red Cross," she said.
To register to donate visit redcrossblood.org.