Dear Harry:

I have been reading your columns for many years, but last May was the first time I read the fine print at the bottom. I decided to give blood for the first time. I didn't know at the time that a neighbor needed surgery and would need blood shortly afterward.

Harry, I cannot tell you how great it was to give that blood, and how happy I was to learn that it could have been my blood that saved her.

I was very nervous about giving, but the sky-high feeling I had after the donation cannot be described. I have given twice more since then, and I have successfully solicited others to give as well. I am truly convinced that giving a part of yourself is "the only way you can give life as a gift."

We get more than financial advice from your columns.

What Harry says: You've said it all. There is always a need for blood. I don't ever remember a time when there was a substantial surplus of any type, but I can remember many times when there were serious shortages.

One of the most touching experiences of my life occurred while I gave blood. At the two beds next to me were two police wives. One of them was a widow whose husband was killed by a criminal the day before. The other was the wife of his seriously injured partner. I cried every minute of the time of my donation. They did, too.

So let me give you a tip of the many Gross hats for your donations and your letter. We donors have the great experience of giving anonymously to unknown donees in order to help them survive.

I love you all! *

Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, Box 7788, Philadelphia, PA 19101. Harry urges all his readers to give blood - contact the American Red Cross at 800-GIVE LIFE.