Red Cross issues emergency request for blood due to shortage

Red Cross blood donations (file).

CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH)– There’s usually a need for blood this time of year. But the Red Cross says the shortage is worse than normal.

There’s a blood drive at the Masonic Temple in Cheshire Thursday afternoon, and the Red Cross really needs people to give blood there or anywhere. The holidays involve giving lots of things, but not much giving of blood.

That’s bad because the need for blood does not take a holiday. In fact, Christmas and New Years are peak times for car crashes, and right now, the blood just isn’t there. It’s not unusual to be a little low in January. We all get busy with holiday shopping, and partying and traveling, and even folks who regularly give blood just don’t have the time.

Related: American Red Cross issues an emergency call for blood donations

This year, bad weather in other parts of country has cancelled some 90 blood drives. That has the Red Cross about 37,000 units below where they should be, that includes a shortage of 2,000 donations here in Connecticut.

“This is pretty dire. We are 5% below what we usually see across the country right now, and every donation can save up to three lives so when you start to crunch those numbers you realize how important this is and every two seconds someone needs blood across the US and we need those donations as much as we can,” said Alyson Barraza, American Red Cross.

Here’s the deal – as if saving three lives wasn’t reward enough, if you give blood this month you get a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts. This is the 10th year Dunks has teamed up with the Red Cross in honor of National Blood Donor Month. So in addition to the cookie you get after giving blood, now you can get coffee and a donut the next day, too.

It’s very easy to do, and if you want to come here to the Cheshire Masonic Temple, it’s just down Route 10 from the prison, and the blood drive is from noon until 5 Thursday.

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