American Red Cross seeks blood donations as summer supply dwindles

Staff writer

The American Red Cross is calling for blood donors after last week’s Fourth of July holiday left the organization with 450 fewer blood drives, which has led a supply of under three days instead of the recommended five.

With 12 opportunities to donate blood this month in Williamsburg and James City County, and the need for donations is constant, said Bernadette Jay, external communications manager for the American Red Cross’s Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian blood service regions.

“We’ve got to make sure [hospitals] have what they need to sustain patient life,” she said.

A shortage is typical around this time of year, Jay said. In the summer, regular donors and blood drive sponsors are on vacation, especially around the holiday. High school and college students, who make up 20% of blood donations according to Jay, are away from school and are not donating as a result.

Adding to the urgency, Jay said blood is perishable because it has a shelf life of 42 days. According to a news release, the American Red Cross also received 1,500 fewer donations in the month of June in its mid-Atlantic region.

Cleve Wright, treasurer of the James City Ruritan Club and past master of Chickahominy Masonic Lodge has sponsored blood drives for about 25 years.

Wright said blood drives run into issues in the time leading up to seasons like winter and summer as people focus on holidays and vacations.

“They lose sight of [the need for blood,” he said. “Unless you’re close to it, you don’t realize that the need for blood is 365 (days). It’s understandable. They have to give up their time for it.”

Upcoming blood drives

James City

  • 2:30-6:30 p.m. July 18, , Wawa #699, 842 Merrimac Trail
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 20, , Kingdom Life Christian Church, 1679 Merrimac Trail
  • 2-7 p.m. July 23, Jamestown Presbyterian, 3287 Ironbound Road
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 25, Courtyard by Marriot Williamsburg, 470 Mclaws Circle
  • 1:30-7 p.m. July 25, Stonehouse Presbyterian Church, 9401 Fieldstone Parkway
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 26, The Historic Powhatan Resort, 3601 Ironbound Road
  • 1-5 p.m. July 26, Home Depot, 6700 Mooretown Road

Williamsburg

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 15, Williamsburg-James City County Courthouse, 5201 Monticello Ave.
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 19, Riverside Doctors' Hospital,1500 Commonwealth Avenue

York County

  • 2-7 p.m. July 18, Peninsula Community Chapel, 4209 Big Bethel Road
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 19, Colonial Service Board, Yorktown, 3804 George Washington Memorial Highway
  • 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 22, Wild Birds Unlimited, 3120 Kiln Creek Parkway
  • 1-6 p.m. July 30, St. Mark Lutheran Church, 118 Old York Hampton Highway

Want to donate?

You can schedule an appointment to donate blood by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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