Every blood drive is important because of its potential to save lives, but one Saturday at Grace Moravian Church in Mount Airy is taking on special significance due to Hurricane Sandy.
With this week’s storm leading to the cancellation of more than 300 blood drives, supply problems have been noted by the American Red Cross. Nationwide, the cancellations translate into about 11,000 lost units of blood which would have been collected during those drives.
This has left the nation’s blood-collection agency putting out the call to communities to help make up for the shortfall, caused by cancellations in East Coast states including North Carolina and Virginia.
“We had units expected to come in, but Sandy changed our plans,” said Ginny Anderson of the Red Cross, who coordinates donor recruitment in Surry County.
That is where Saturday’s blood drive at the Grace Moravian Church fellowship hall comes into play. The event, planned from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., had already been scheduled before the hurricane struck.
However, Joe Dellinger, a spokesman for the drive, is putting out a special appeal for local residents to roll up their sleeves in light of the need posed by the storm.
An initial goal of 33 pints was set for Saturday’s drive.
Red Cross officials say that while there’s a need for blood and platelets in areas hardest-hit, there also are everyday requirements of hospital patients in all communities. Despite fewer drives being held allowing people to donate, those needs are continuing, they say.
To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with parental consent, and meet height and weight requirements in addition to being in general good health.
Other Blood Drives
The Red Cross also has announced additional drives in the area next week, under this schedule:
• Sunday, noon-4:30 p.m., at Salem Fork Christian Church, 2245 White Dirt Road, Dobson.
• Monday, 1:30-6 p.m., at the Surry American Red Cross building, 844 Westlake Drive, Mount Airy.
• Monday, 2-7 p.m., at Central Middle School, 883 Zephyr Road, Dobson.
• Tuesday, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., East Surry High School, 801 W. Main St., Pilot Mountain.