The American Red Cross is heading into the holiday season with the lowest blood supply in more than a decade and now the organization is calling for anyone who is eligible to donate.
The American Red Cross is hosting their annual Manchester Road Race Ray Crothers Memorial Blood Drive at Manchester High School. According to the Red Cross, blood donations typically decline between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. The recent low blood donor turnout has resulted in the American Red Cross having its lowest blood supply in more than a decade during this time of year.
The annual blood drive in Manchester has become a family tradition for Karen Sibrinsz and her loved ones.
"We have been doing this for more than 20 years, we have Thanksgiving dinner and then we give blood," said Sibrinsz. "I have A-B negative which is the rarest and when my kids were born they both had A-B negative so we believe it's important to give back due to our rare blood type."
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At least 392 patients are coming through the doors according to the American Red Cross which they mention is a historic and significant number of appointments for Manchester's blood drive.
"Right now, there's a historically low shortage so we need as many blood donors as we can to come out and support us specifically type O blood donors," said Alissa Haight Aguda, an account manager with the American Red Cross. "More people are coming in needing surgery, needing blood and so we're really looking to replenish the blood supply so there's historical lows and we need more people to come in more than ever."
During the blood drive, many people told NBC Connecticut they wanted to show up because they know their blood donation will go a long way.
"I think everyone should donate blood if they can and have the ability to give back," said Leanna Coiro. "It's an easy way to give back especially around Thanksgiving."