Red Cross requesting donors

Published 10:08 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The American Red Cross has issued an emergency call for blood donations after receiving about 61,000 fewer donations than needed in May and June.

The trend was comparable to summers in previous years, when fewer blood drives are arranged because of vacations for schools and businesses, according to Bernadette Jay, external communications manager for Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian Blood Services of the American Red Cross.

“We want to make certain there’s blood available for unforeseen emergencies and planned surgeries,” Jay said. “Someone in a car accident could need up to 100 units of blood, and we need to make sure that’s available when they’re rushing to the hospital.”

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After the American Red Cross issued an emergency call earlier this month, blood donations increased by 30 percent through mid-July. These donations, however, are being delivered to hospitals as fast as they are coming in, and more donations are needed to meet patient needs and replenish the blood supply.

“Thousands of donors came out to help hospital patients in need, but the emergency need for blood still remains,” Jay said.

Eligible donors of all types are encouraged to answer the call. Those who give blood or platelets from Wednesday to Aug. 31 will be emailed a $5 Target eGiftCard in appreciation for their support.

“Blood is just something that we can’t make in a petri dish or a lab,” Jay said. “The only way to make certain that it’s available is for folks to donate.”

Donors may receive notifications via email and on the American Red Cross Blood Donor App when their donations helps save lives.

“Imagine just going through your day, and you get an alert that says your blood is on the way,” Jay said. “I think that’s the best incentive ever.”


  • July 26; 2 to 7 p.m.; Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church on Godwin Boulevard
  • July 27; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Virginia Department of Transportation on North Main Street
  • July 28; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Kroger on University Boulevard
  • Aug. 2; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sentara Obici Hospital on Godwin Boulevard
  • Aug. 12; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.; BURNfit Athletics on Northgate Commerce Parkway

Western Branch

  • Aug. 1; 2 to 7 p.m.; Portsmouth Moose Lodge 898 on North George Washington Highway
  • Aug. 2; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sentara Obici Hospital on Godwin Boulevard
  • Aug. 2; 2 to 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Square Mall on Portsmouth Boulevard
  • Aug. 4; 1 to 7 p.m.; Lake Drummond Masonic Lodge on North George Washington Highway
  • Aug. 5; 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Bruce Road
  • Aug. 6; noon to 5 p.m.; Chesapeake Square Mall on Portsmouth Boulevard


  • Aug. 4; 2 to 7 p.m.; Keurig Green Mountain Coffee on Old Mill Road