Weekly Feature



2016-06-15 / Editorial

Blood donations needed after tragic events

In the wake of a tragedy, the country feels heartache. The worst U.S. mass shooting took place on Sunday at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Our thoughts and condolences remain with the victims and their families.

People in communities throughout the country are lining up to donate blood, as there is a dire need for donations to help the injured following a tragic event.

Tara Hughes of Amherst and Peggy McGee-Smith of Kenmore — two volunteers from the American Red Cross Western New York Chapter — will be traveling to Orlando this morning to provide disaster mental health support following the shooting.

According to a press release, the volunteers have experience helping in the Red Cross response to traumatic situations, including after 9/11, the crash of Flight 3407, Sandy Hook, the Boston Marathon bombing and the recent wildfires in Alberta, Canada.

Local Red Cross volunteers are supporting emergency responders by providing snacks and water, and the Red Cross is coordinating closely with local officials to determine how it can best support the affected community throughout the coming days and weeks.

The thoughts and deepest sympathies of the entire American Red Cross family are with the people of Orlando and those affected by Sunday’s shooting, according to the release.

While the organization doesn’t typically serve hospitals in the Orlando area, the Red Cross is providing a small number of blood products to support Florida hospitals in response to the shooting and stands ready to provide additional blood and blood products as needed. Volunteer blood donors are needed each and every day to help save lives. In fact, right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as donations come in.

According to the release, this weekend’s tragedy illustrates that it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps during an emergency.

Eligible individuals can make an appointment to give blood in the coming weeks and months by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting www.redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 66,000 disasters each year, and donations for Red Cross Disaster Relief are used to help people and communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters large and small.

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