The Red Cross is hoping more people will participate in blood drives. As Maria Valvanis tells us, donations have suffered due to this year's winter weather.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- A decline in blood donations is feeling the impact of this cold and snowy winter.
"Locally we're down about 800 units because of the number of blood drives we've had to cancel, and the inclement weather that makes it difficult for people to travel," explained Arik Aery, the district director of Albany Blood Supplies.
On Monday, convenience proved to be a successful tool to get people who work at 800 Pearl Street to donate their blood.
"I work part time and I decided to come down and donate some blood," said John Daniels, an employee.
Twelve local blood drives have been canceled since the beginning of February, and 1,500 have been cancelled across the country. Overall, the country has missed out on about 50,000 units of blood.
Avery said, "It's pretty much like closing down the Red Cross for three whole days when that happens."
The main cause of cancellations have been snow days. Schools represent about 20 percent of the database. Hospital demands are still being met, but there is no guarantee Mother Nature won't strike again.
"We're encouraging people of all blood types to come donate, also make platelet donations, those are important as well," explained Avery.
"Every little bit helps I suppose, who knows, it might be me that needs it some day," added Daniels.
For more information about the Red Cross, or how you can donate, visit www.redcross.org.