Red Cross hosts blood drives to save summer patients

Published 8:20 pm Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Red Cross is amping up blood drives this summer, in response to a historical drop in blood donations over the summer months.

“You know you’re helping someone who is really in need, and even if it doesn’t feel like it, a little bit of blood goes a long way,” said Zach Mays, an American Red Cross intern at the North East North Carolina chapter.

The number of new donors in June, July and August declines by 30 percent, according to the Red Cross. While planned vacations are common for some in the summer, patients don’t get a summer vacation from needing blood. That’s why the Red Cross said encouraging both new and old donors to participate in summer blood drives is extremely important.

“Summer is a difficult time to collect donations with schools that host blood drives on break and many people off enjoying vacation, yet that critical and constant need for blood does not change,” the Red Cross said in a press release.

As part of its summer campaign, the Red Cross is encouraging people throughout the nation to donate blood. There will be many opportunities to do so in Beaufort County: the American Red Cross Greater Pamlico Area will hold 10 blood drives in Beaufort County in the month of June, and even more are scheduled for July.

The next blood drive is on Sunday at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Donors are asked to drink plenty of water, eat a healthy meal and dress comfortably when getting ready to give blood.

The Red Cross takes great care of the donors, and donor events always have a friendly atmosphere, according to Mays.

The nonprofit also stressed that the needle is nothing to fear: a single pinch of pain could save the life of someone truly in need.

“Sometimes you just have to break it down and say ‘maybe this won’t be that bad’,” Mays said.

To learn more about blood drives in the area, please go to