SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Red Cross needs your help saving lives. In just an hour, you can save as many as three lives by giving the gift of life: a pint of your blood. Donors said it takes between a half hour and an hour, from start to finish, to donate whole blood and about two hours to donate platelets.
“It’s in short supply and blood is very precious and it’s needed for a lot of people,” said Miles Postell-Reynolds donates whole blood and platelets as often as he can. He added, “One of my cousins has sickle-cell anemia. It’s very important that people with sickle cell anemia get blood cells of course. And also people suffering from cancer need platelets.” Miles knew on holidays, like Labor Day, there’s an urgent need for blood donations.
He brought his friend Nami so she could donate, too. “It’s a matter of convenience. A day off would be the time to do it,” said Nami Forest of Springfield. She said whenever she notices signs for blood drives, the hours are always during her work hours and she can’t go. Labor Day was the perfect time for her to donate.
Some regular donors take advantage of holidays to go on vacation, depleting the blood supply at the Red Cross, but others, like Nami, said they took advantage of this extra day off as extra time to come down to the Red Cross and donate.
Despite the expectations of a low holiday turnout, Red Cross workers said they noticed a steady flow of donors at the Springfield headquarters throughout the weekend. They offered t-shirts and a raffle for movie theater tickets as incentives to get people giving blood.
“As soon as I can make my appointment I come in,” said Jennifer Peralta. She donates platelets about every two weeks and knew they would be in demand on Labor Day. “I love to know that I’m helping people. There’s so many people in need and I didn’t realize how easy it was. Just 90 minutes of your day can save many lives,” said Peralta.
The Red Cross is offering blood drives from September 7th to September 13th to honor those who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks.
You can find out about the Red Cross partnership with 9/11 Day here.
To sign up for a time to donate blood, click here.