Red Cross: We need blood

Published 8:35 pm Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fortunate Virginia residents who came through Hurricane Sandy mostly unscathed have opportunities to help their neighbors to the north.

The hard-hit New York and New Jersey areas have suffered massive devastation, including entire communities destroyed and dozens of deaths.

One way to help hurricane victims is for eligible donors to give blood, according to the American Red Cross.

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The storm forced the cancellation of about 300 American Red Cross blood drives along the East Coast, resulting in a shortfall of about 9,000 units of blood and platelets so far, American Red Cross spokeswoman Kristin Hatfield said in a press release.

That leaves the organization’s supply woefully inadequate to help hurricane victims and fulfill regular needs, according to the release.

“As our community recovers from the storm, we need to help the blood supply recover, too,” said Page Gambill, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Mid-Atlantic Blood Services Region. “It was the blood on the shelves that helped save patients’ lives when the hurricane hit, and it will be the blood on the shelves when the next disaster — large or small — strikes.”

All blood types are needed, especially O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative, according to the release.

Upcoming blood drives include the following:

  • Nov. 2, Point Harbor Community Church, 2705 Taylor Road, Chesapeake, 2 to 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 4, St. Therese Catholic Church, 4137 Portsmouth Blvd., Chesapeake, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 6, Franklin Baptist Church, 208 N. High St., Franklin, noon to 6 p.m.
  • Nov. 7, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, 3373 Pruden Blvd., Suffolk, 8:45 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Nov. 13, Southside Baptist Church, 917 Carolina Road, Suffolk, 2 to 7 p.m.

To make an appointment for these or other blood drives, visit

The American Red Cross is also accepting donations to support disaster relief. Donors can visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

In addition, any SunTrust Bank branch will accept a donation for the Red Cross through Nov. 16.

Those wishing to help fellow Virginians with a monetary donation can give to the Virginia Disaster Relief Fund, a state-managed fund created by Gov. Bob McDonnell in April 2011 after a tornado outbreak in the state.

The fund assists individuals and businesses in the state following major natural disasters.

“We will get through this storm and recover from it,” McDonnell said in a press release. “And we will do that by working together.”

To donate to the fund, visit