Hundreds attend Red Cross blood drive in WMass

Only about 5% of Americans donate to the American Red Cross

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Red Cross held western Massachusetts biggest blood donation drive.  22News was there as hundreds of people from across the region came out to help support those in need.

The Big E’s Better Living Center in West Springfield transformed Monday, packed with people throughout the day, ready to give the gift of life.

One man spent part of his 60th birthday giving blood, in honor of his parents.

“It’s near and dear to my heart. You know both my parents died of cancer, and they needed blood, and it’s a good thing to do,” Lenny Nash of West Springfield said.

The American Red Cross collected 621 pints of blood, which has the potential to help more than 1,800 people.

Currently, only about 5% of Americans donate to the American Red Cross, and every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

The Red Cross says summertime is when blood donations are needed the most.  Summer is also the time donations tend to decline.

One woman says it’s painless, and she hopes to encourage more people to get involved, “It takes almost 30 minutes, that’s it. It’s a really easy process and you get a lot of gratification for doing something for somebody else.”

Recruitment Manager Ana Parrelli said, “A lot of times people think that they can’t because they’re diabetic or have high blood pressure, but the reality is those people can in fact donate blood.

To give blood, you must be at least 17-years old, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds, and be in good health.

All of Wednesday night’s donations will go to patients right here in New England.

For information and ways to donate click here.

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