Jackson Chapel United Methodist Church held a blood drive Saturday morning with hopes of helping with the nationwide blood shortage.

The blood drive was organized by the church’s Health and Wellness Committee.

Sade Handy, mobile phlebotomist with the American Red Cross, said there is a blood shortage nationwide, something that occurs every summer.

“Schools are closed and people [go on] vacation, so we do need people to come out and donate,” she said.

The American Red Cross is also taking blood and monetary donations in preparation for Hurricane Dorian which could cause damage to Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina this week, according to the National Weather Service.

The church on Ballenger Creek Pike held a blood drive a few years ago and since then has held one every other year, according to Robin Boucher, a member of the church’s Health and Wellness Committee.

“This year we’re hoping to have 23 donations,” she said.

As of Saturday morning they had 26 people sign up to donate blood, not including walk-ins.

Donors give a pint of blood which takes about 20 minutes start to finish.

While most of the donors were members, or friends of members, of the church, Boucher said some donors showed up because they heard there was an emergency need for blood.

“It’s a renewable resource,” she said.

One donor was Dee Jenkins, who is a member of the church. Jenkins donates blood about four times a year for the last 10 years.

“I do it all the time,” she said. “I know that it’s a necessity, especially in the African American community. We don’t always give at the rate of other races so I just find it important that there’s blood from us too.”

She added that even if someone is hesitant to donate blood, due to a fear of needles or for other reasons, to just remember the good that it does.

“You can save a life, easily, by donating blood,” she said. “It feels good to donate. That’s what we’re here to do, to help.”

To find an upcoming blood drive near you, visit Redcross.org.

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter: @FairfieldCj.

(1) comment

Hog Jowl

I had always donated blood but my service in the Army in Germany during the BSE outbreak has kept me from being able to donate ever since. Other than liking farm smells and stinky french cheese I've never had a symptom yet still can't donate. Hasn't anyone followed up on this perceived risk?

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