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Red Cross in urgent need of blood donors

The American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina is encouraging residents of Beaufort County to donate blood to compensate for the lack of donors during the pandemic.

According to Regional Communications Director Cally Edwards with the American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina, 549 units of blood have been collected since Jan. of this year. As the school year ends and summer begins, donation numbers will begin to go down as people become busy with plans. 

“The need for blood in eastern North Carolina is constant. We really want this summer to be one of life for those who need blood and to do that, we’re going to need donors to sign up and participate,” Edwards said. 

The Red Cross is continuing to test all routine blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. This test will inform the donor and Red Cross if they have been infected with the virus in addition to any antibodies produced following a COVID-19 vaccination. Individuals who have received the COVID-19 vaccine are encouraged to donate blood and are asked to provide the manufacture of the vaccine they received to accurately determine blood donation eligibility. 

“To anyone thinking about donating, just do it. The needle is not painful at all and with our Red Cross app, you get notifications of when your blood is processed and where it is sent to. You never know when or where the need will be a life or death situation and knowing that you’re partially responsible for giving someone more time is an amazing thing,” Edwards said. 

To be eligible to donate blood, individuals need to be 17 years of age or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health. High School students and any other donor under the age of 18 must meet additional requirements to be eligible.

Several blood drives will be held in conjunction with the American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina over the next few weeks. To make an appointment, or for more information about donating, visit the American Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina website.

The following blood donation drives are currently scheduled over the next month in Beaufort County: 

Belhaven

  • May 28, 2021: 2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., Bethany United Methodist Church, 2766 S. Savannah Road

Washington

  • May 19, 2021: 1:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Harvest Church, 2020 W. 15th St.
  • May 19, 2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 80 Cedar Circle
  • May 20, 2021: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fitness Unlimited, 622 W. 15th St.
  • May 25, 2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 101 North Bonner Str.
  • June 3, 2021: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Washington Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, 4001 US 264
  • June 11, 2021: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Clarks Neck Fire & Rescue Department, 3797 Wharton Station Road