The need for blood is high due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
With that in mind, many Connecticut organizations like the American Red Cross and Connecticut's chapter of the WeLoveU Foundation have joined forces to help raise awareness about blood donations.
At least 70 volunteers showed up to give and support the blood drive at the YMCA in East Hartford. According to the WeLoveU Foundation, there has been more than 50,000 blood drives in the country have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This is part of our initiative so we really wanted to come in and encourage the volunteers in the community to donate," said Amari Jones, the event volunteer coordinator for Connecticut's chapter of WeLoveU Foundation.
Capacity limits and lower volunteer turnout for donations are a few reasons why there is a blood shortage.
"The need for blood is constant and we're always going to need blood for various procedures, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Alissa Haight Aguda, account manger with the American Red Cross. "Fourty-percent of the blood in ordinary times comes from businesses and schools, but because a lot of businesses and schools are not in right now, we rely on those community donations, so, it's essential patrons come out."
The small bags of blood go a long way, which benefit hospital patients, car crash victims, and mothers in labor.
The America Red Cross is testing blood for COVID-19 antibodies and is encouraging those who may have tested positive for the COVID-19 antibodies to donate their blood which can help COVID patients battling the virus.