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A call to help fellow community members

Like all of us who live and work here, I am proud to be a Western New Yorker. Part of what makes Buffalo the City of Good Neighbors is the way we look after not only our community, but our friends and loved ones across the country. The ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis is a time to take care of one another, and blood donation is essential to helping ensure the health of our community.

In the Buffalo area, the American Red Cross must collect an estimated 125 units a day to support more than ten local hospitals and healthcare systems where we serve as primary provider of blood products and reference laboratory services. The Red Cross strives to meet local needs first, then through our national inventory system we can move blood products throughout our area and across the country, wherever there is a need.

When severe weather, such as our “Snowvember” 2014 storm, disrupts blood collections throughout the area, the Red Cross can provide blood from other regions to help local hospitals. As a national blood system, the Red Cross has the unique responsibility to ensure hospital patients throughout the United States have blood when they need it. That means your blood donation could be helping someone down the street or across the country. Our goal is to get the right blood to the right patient at the right time, and sponsors and donors can feel good knowing that by supporting the Red Cross, they can help families here at home and across the country.

The Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood or platelets for patients battling disease and facing the unexpected. The need for blood products remains constant, but blood drives continue to cancel due to COVID-19. It’s important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. In addition, the Red Cross is currently testing all blood, platelet, and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies to provide donors insight into whether they may have been exposed to this coronavirus. The Red Cross is committed to helping others in meaningful ways during this pandemic.

In times of crisis, the Red Cross is fortunate to witness the best of humanity as people roll up a sleeve to help those in need. If you are feeling well, please make an appointment today to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

Susan MacDonald volunteers as board chair for the American Red Cross, Western New York chapter.

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