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Storms Cause Setback for Stark County Red Cross

The Red Cross has seen many blood drive cancellations because of the weather while it continues to help those affected by the recent storms

The Stark County Red Cross not only has made efforts to serve the community in a time of need, but it also had to deal with cancellations of donation because of the winter weather conditions.

Those affected by the recent winter storm can receive emergency shelter at the Canton Civic Center. There they can get a hot meal and a warm place to stay.

“In the days to come, the Stark County Red Cross will be coordinating with the emergency officials and local community partners to help residents impacted by the storms get back on their feet,” said Curt Werren, Stark County Red Cross CEO.   “The Red Cross will keep shelters open as long as needed, in addition to providing food and mental health support to those affected by the storms.”

According to a statement by the Red Cross, as of Feb. 3 (Thursday), they have served 600 meals and 1,200 snacks and passed out 150 comfort kits. Estimated total cost of sheltering the power outage clients is close to $15,000. The Stark County Red Cross is also expected to shelter 300 individuals in the days to come.

In addition, winter weather is causing an alarming amount of increased cancellations of blood and platelet donations through the American Red Cross.  More than 14,000 people canceled their recent appointments, according to a statement by the American Red Cross.

It's estimated that 25 Ohio blood drives were canceled because of the weather, and few people turned out to those drives that did happen.

“We have not seen the January supply drop this dramatically in a decade, and we need to reverse this now,” said Christy Chapman, communications manager for the Northern Ohio Blood Services Region. “You don’t wait to refuel once you’ve run out of gas. Donating blood or platelets now helps ensure immediate and future patient needs will be met.”

There is a constant need for donations, and the American Red Cross asks that people make an appointment by calling 800-733-2767 or visiting redcrossblood.org.  They’re accepting all blood types, especially type O negative.

Those in good health and who are at least 17 years old and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds may donate.  Also, those who are donating need to come prepared with Red Cross donor card or other forms of positive identification. 

Quick facts, according to the American Red Cross:

  • Every two seconds a patient in the United States needs a blood transfusion
  • Blood is perishable and has no substitute
  • Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days

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