Savannah Red Cross Calls for Donations

Are you looking to support our troops overseas? You can, by giving the gift of life. WTOC spent some time at Savannah's American Red Cross blood donation center and found out all you need to do is take 45 minutes out of your day, roll up your sleeve, and donate blood. Look around the blood donation room and you'll notice something: the beds are empty.

"We don't have enough people coming in to donate," said Jennifer Bowen of the Savannah Red Cross.

Not only do local hospitals need blood from the Red Cross, the Department of Defense's Armed Services Blood Program is asking for blood to send to the Middle East.

"With the war on and the military now asking for blood products, we need to fulfill our obligation to hospitals so we can fulfill our duty to the military," said Bowen.

But until there's at least a three-day supply of all blood types ready for local hospitals, the Red Cross can't send blood off for soldiers. Twenty donors a day is what this Red Cross center would need in order to have enough of a supply at home to be spare some to be sent overseas.

Blood collections specialist Roger Wentz knows just how important it is to get enough blood to be sent to the Middle East. He was there 12 years ago in Desert Storm, serving as a medic, using blood donations on those hurt in the line of fire. But in this war he feels military doctors will need a larger supply.

"You're looking at terrorist tactics on troops," he said. "We're looking at a lot more causalities, the blood is needed."

Knowing his blood could be helping our troops is giving donor Greg Hart even more of an incentive to come back.

"I hope it goes to something as wonderful and as noble as that," he told us.

The Red Cross needs all blood types, especially O+, O-, and B-. In order to donate, you've got to be at least 17 years old, 110 pounds and healthy.

Reported by: Holly Bristow,