Red Cross holds blood drive in NJ to help Florence victims
The New Jersey chapter of the American Red Cross held blood drives across the state Tuesday to help benefit the victims of Hurricane Florence.
The organization says that blood bank supplies often take a hit when a natural disaster strikes, so they urge anyone who is willing and able to donate blood.
Merrie Kay Alzola is one such volunteer. She says that she lives in Washington state but was in New Jersey on business.
“I’m only here for work. It was just my time to give. It’s been two months,” she says.
Alzola says that she received an email from the Red Cross about the blood shortage.
“So I decided to find someplace here in New Jersey to donate,” she says.
The Red Cross says that 170 blood drives have had to be canceled due to the storm, causing the blood shortage.
“One-hundred-seventy blood drives means there’s over 4,600 units of blood that have not been collected, which means that there’re patients in desperate need at hospitals,” says Red Cross regional CEO Rosie Taravella.
Taravella says that each unit of blood can save up to three lives.
“There are people who want to do something and typically they're thinking about making a donation of some kind. The donation of blood is very lifesaving,” she says.
Blood drive locations can be found at the American Red Cross's website.