Community Champions: Blood Connection blood drive

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 4:18 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Blood Connection beat COVID once when they opened their newest center in Savannah in the middle of pandemic. This week, they set out to overcome an unexpected consequence of the health crisis.

“Oddly enough, we were doing better during the pandemic than we are now. We’ve really seen historically low blood donor turnout this year and we are on the verge of a blood shortage,” Heather Moulder said.

So, the community blood center that opened in Savannah in November decided to introduce itself to the community by trying to help the community with a blood drive that will help supply local hospitals.

“That’s one good thing about being a local community blood center, the blood that’s collected here stays here and helps this community.”

And those who donated this week could be helping their neighbors at critical times.

“Most people don’t know that one trauma could use 20 units. That’s a whole blood drive.”

Some who do understand the need donated this week.

“You really are giving life. I have given blood and seen people who probably would have been in the hospital another week go home in two days. I worked open heart,” Opal Schlicht said.

But the Blood Connection also succeeded in connecting with members of the community who are just hearing about a potential shortage and wanted to help.

“The community has really stepped up to the plate to come out and help their neighbors, it has been really overwhelming. Normally, this location here only sees a handful of donors every day, if that. The last couple of days, we have been seeing 20 or more donors every day. That’s fantastic.”

And the WTOC Community Champions giving and collecting blood at this week’s drive hope to have a lasting impact.

“It’s the blood that is on our shelves in inventory that are going to save lives of people if there is some type of trauma or something like that.”

“I think a lot of times people are afraid that they’re going to stick me with a needle. It is not that painful, y’all. It really does not hurt bad. And what you are giving is going to help somebody else. So, it is very, very important.

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