The American Red Cross is reporting a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Healthy individuals willing to donate are needed now to help patients counting on lifesaving blood.
“I used to donate every 8 weeks. 9/11 was the reason I donated for the first time. I stopped after I retired, but Covid-19 has prompted me to start again. And I plan to keep doing it,” stated Lorena Mandoriao of Hercules.
Thirty-six Contra Costa County community members filled every available donation slot at the annual Interfaith Blood Drive at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 4351 Hilltop Drive. Thirty units of blood were collected for the American Red Cross. Special protocols such as spaced donation tables, consistent sterilization of surfaces and materials, and required masks helped keep those at the blood drive safe from Covid-19.
Rose Lucietta of Richmond is a first time donor. “I saw a TV commercial regarding the need for blood and wanted to help,” Rose says the issue is personal to her after her husband recovered from a liver transplant in September. She learned that one bag of blood can help save three people’s lives..
“As a nation, this is a time where we must take care of one another including those most vulnerable among us in hospitals,” said Gail McGovern, president, and chief executive officer, American Red Cross. “One of the most important things people can do right now during this public health emergency is to give blood. If you are healthy and feeling well, please make an appointment to donate as soon as possible.”
If you would like to donate there is another Interfaith Blood Drive being held Saturday, May 30 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Concord, 3700 Concord Blvd. You can schedule an appointment at redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code: InterfaithCommunity or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.
For other ways to help your community during this pandemic, you can also visit JustServe.org where community needs such as food drives and service opportunities are posted regularly.