American Red Cross facing national blood crisis

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis that is the worst they’ve seen in more than a decade. 

This comes after they saw a 10 percent decrease in donors since the beginning of the pandemic.  

Michelle Johnson, account manager for the American Red Cross, says that at some point less than 3% of the population donates blood, and 97% of us at some point in our lives are going to need blood or blood products.  

Now, places like Cape Bible Chapel  are stepping up to help fill this need and help the community. 

Jeremy Kallin, Children and Family Pastor at Cape Bible Chapel, says hosting this blood drive is a way to serve the community.  

“We just see this opportunity just to be able to serve the community and the people in this area,” Kallin said. “There’s a need for Red Cross just to have a location and our building is here and available.” 

Red Cross workers says it’s important to realize just how much of a difference donating can make, even if you never meet the person you are helping. 

“People don’t recognize that there’s a personal connection there with knowing patients that helps us just really appreciate the need,” said Kallin. 

It’s a feeling that has brought Dr. Richard Martin back repeatedly since his med school days. 

“When I was a med student, I used to give it for money. I don’t do that anymore but I just got in the habit,” said Martin. 

Fighting the fear of donating is something the Red Cross hopes to do by letting others know how quick and easy the process is.  

“People don’t know what to expect so I like to tell people it’s super easy,” Johnson said. “Just prepare for it like you would a test. Eat a really good solid meal and drink lots of water.” 

And with donors’ help they can save many lives without putting themselves in any danger. 

“You can save up to three people’s lives and you don’t have to lift a car off somebody,” Johnson said. “You don’t have to run into a burning building. You just have to be willing to donate.” 

Tap here to find a blood drive near you.

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