Blood need crucial, donations down during holidays

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The American Red Cross has a critical need for blood right now, but unfortunately, fewer people tend to give this time of year. Wednesday, their Bloodmobile stopped by our studio in Greenville to encourage donations.

It may not be what you have in mind for holiday plans, but the need for blood is critical right now.

“During the holidays, we often see people take time away to travel, celebrate with family, sometimes even seasonal illnesses can stop people from giving blood,” said Eastern North Carolina Red Cross Communications Director Cally Edwards. “And so this is a great time for people that are thinking about, how can I help people this holiday season? They can give blood.”

Donor Julie Garner said she jumped at the opportunity. “Well, it’s Christmas, I couldn’t think of any better gift to give,” Garner said.

Often when you give, you don’t know who it’s going to, but Garner said she’s seen directly, the impact it has. “Years back, my father had cancer and he was taking chemotherapy, and he was in really bad shape when we went into the emergency room, and he had to have a blood transfusion,” she explained. “So if there wasn’t enough blood he probably wouldn’t have made it.”

Even regular donors may be able to give more often than they realize.

“Blood donors can give up to six times a year,” Edwards said. “Someone needs blood every two seconds. People are still having car accidents, they’re needing life-saving treatments for cancer, for sickle cell disease.”

If you have an hour to set aside, consider giving the best present you can: the gift of life. Our blood drive here at WITN wrapped up at 2 p.m. Wednesday, but there are lots of ways to give. Just call your local Red Cross to set up an appointment.