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American Red Cross calls on Central Georgians to donate blood to help to ease shortage

The Red Cross is dealing with what they describe as a "concerning drop" in donations.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — The American Red Cross is dealing with what they describe as a "concerning drop" in donations. They report tens of thousands fewer blood donation last month right as we move into the summer.

The Red Cross hosted a blood drive Friday in Warner Robins. It's part of a push to deal with the alarming shortage.

"I know in the month of May, we saw over 26,000 fewer blood donations in the country," says executive director Holly Winner of the Red Cross' Central Midwest Georgia chapter.

Winner says Central Georgians showing up to donate blood is crucial.

"It's very important and the chapter I support, as a whole, generally produces over 19,000 units per fiscal year," says Winner.

Winner says Americans are expected to travel more this summer than in past years, which can have a double impact on the blood supply.

"That plays in the blood supply because needing to be more intentional about keeping blood donation appointments, but more travel can increase the needs for accidents, which leads to more of a need for a blood supply," says Winner.

If you're looking to donate blood, make sure you have your donor card or your ID so the check-in person can send you right off to registration. Then, they'll make sure all your levels are good so you can give. After that, you'll be able to donate blood.

"It is literally extending someone's life and time with their loved ones," says Winner.

As an incentive, donors this month get emailed a $10 gift card to a merchant of your choice, and entered into a drawing for a backyard theater package. To find out about blood drives close to you, go to the American Red Cross website, put in your ZIP code and find blood drives.

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