Blood donations badly needed back East after Sandy

TULSA - Superstorm Sandy forced cancelations of blood drives on the East Coast -- and now the American Red Cross is asking for donations to make up for that shortage.

Volunteers say your help will go far. They say it's as simple as taking an hour out of your day to donate blood.

Allison Shroff donates blood three to four times a year. Tuesday morning, she got a call from the American Red Cross asking her to donate as soon as possible.

"I've donated about 50 to 60 times, and I've never gotten a request to come that very day. So I knew it was urgent," she said.

The American Red Cross had to cancel 300 blood drives in 14 states, leaving a shortfall of nearly 9,000 units of blood and platelets.

"This is the best thing a person can do. It's free, it doesn't cost you anything. You get back everything you give out," Shroff said.

Now the American Red Cross is urging volunteers in unaffected areas like Tulsa to donate blood.

"You know we've been on the other end of this. We've been on the receiving end. Our wildfires, tornadoes, the blizzards of a couple years ago. And other people of the country came to our aid. So it's time for us to look toward the East," said Jan Hale with the American Red Cross.
 
Hale says it's an easy way to help.

"It's a pinch. But at the end, you know you're doing something so good for someone else," she said.

You can call the American Red Cross at 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or go online to make an appointment to donate blood.

The Red Cross in Tulsa has extended its donor hours this week.

Mid-America Blood Services Division
10151 E. 11th St.
Tulsa, OK 74128

Extended hours this week:
Wed.-Thu. 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

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