More than 70 people gave blood Tuesday to the American Red Cross during the first day of a two-day blood drive at Troy University.
With Alabama, and the U.S. as a whole, facing a blood shortage, TROY and the American Red Cross have teamed up this week for a blood drive in the Trojan Center Ballrooms, which continues Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
“We’ve lost a lot of blood drives, a lot of them at high schools and universities, due to the coronavirus situation,” said Lasaun Roberson, American Red Cross Team Supervisor. “As a result, we’re facing a real shortage. We are hoping anyone in the area can come out and give some blood. What we have on the shelves has been diminished, and people are in need. Emergencies are still happening, surgeries are still happening, and this blood helps.”
Addressing public concerns, the Red Cross is taking extra safety precautions during this blood drive.
“We are using social distancing, placing all donors six feet apart, and the beds are the same,” Roberson said. “We’re using universal safety precautions. Staff are wearing personal protective equipment, and we’re making sure donors and staff are using hand sanitizer. Everyone’s health is our first priority.”
For the donors who showed up Tuesday, the event marked a chance to help others in a time of crisis.
“You have to put yourself in someone else’s shoes,” said donor Jessica Pollack. “If you were to go to the hospital and need blood and they didn’t have your type or have enough, how would you feel? You need to go out and do your part and give so that someone else can receive a benefit like that.”
For others, it was a welcome chance to, at least briefly, escape isolation.
“I’ve been feeling kind of useless being stuck at home, and this is a great way to help people,” said donor Helen Colley. “My blood type is O negative, which makes me desirable in that respect, so I decided to come out and give blood. I would say to anyone to go ahead and come out here. They’re keeping everybody separated, so it’s very safe. I had no second thoughts at all. I absolutely knew it was something I needed to do.”
To sign up for a donation time Wednesday, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results?zipSponsor=troyu.
Some TROY students decided to help by both volunteering and giving blood.
“I decided to come out because now is a really important time for people who need blood, so I might as well give my time for people who need it,” said volunteer Jacob McComber. “There’s obviously a need, and giving blood is real easy.”