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Sunday, May 26, 2024

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Urgent Need for Red Cross Blood, Platelet Donations

 

By Press Release

PRINCETON — The American Red Cross is on the ground providing safe shelter, food and relief supplies to help people still suffering from Hurricane Matthew’s lingering effects. The storm also continues to impact blood collections in the southeast, resulting in an urgent need for blood and platelet donations across the country.
“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by this devastating storm,” said Ana Montero, regional CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “The Red Cross continues to provide safe shelter, water, food and essential relief supplies to affected individuals and families.”
Disaster Response across the Southeast:
The Red Cross has mobilized a widespread sheltering effort spanning four states and has provided more overnight stays in shelters than after Superstorm Sandy. More than 3,200 people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida woke up Thursday morning in 61 Red Cross and community shelters. Since Hurricane Matthew first threatened the U.S., Red Cross and community partners have served more than 387,000 meals and snacks, distributed more than 56,000 relief items, supported more than 12,000 health and mental health services, and provided more than 82,000 overnight stays in shelters.
The Red Cross has mobilized more than 4,100 disaster workers, 200 response vehicles—more than half of our total vehicle fleet—as well as truckloads of water, ready-to-eat meals, cots, blankets, kitchen items, cleaning supplies and comfort kits, insect repellant, gloves, masks, shovels, rakes, coolers and more. More volunteers, vehicles and supplies are being mobilized now to supplement relief efforts. As conditions permit, Red Cross response vehicles are circulating through the hardest-hit areas delivering food and relief supplies.
Twenty-five New Jersey Red Cross disaster workers have been helping with relief efforts in the Southeast. Patricia and David Williams of Alpine, Radhika Kasu of New Milford, Brian Otto of Phillipsburg, Elisa Thomas Donnelly of Teaneck, Sam Friedlander of Montclair, Kathy Wong of Florham Park, Ricardo Medrano of Union City, Joan Klimpl of Somerset, Mary Sterling of Freehold, Lynn Paul and Debbie Morowitz of Voorhees, Carol Lee Tieman of Ocean Grove, Paul and Louella Rose of Pleasantville, Carol Cohen of Pleasantville and Jim Eden of Margate City are working at shelters. Avinash Kachhy of Edison is helping with Disaster Services technology, and Matthew Steinkerchner of Kendall Park and Joe Bender of Martinsville are working with logistics. Edd Pavlick of Stanhope, Robb Pavlick of Fairfield, Clare Rybczynski of Branchburg, Ese Enyamuke of Newark and Barry Verbel of Somerset are working with feeding operations in the three Emergency Response Vehicles from the New Jersey Region that are in the Southeast to help with relief efforts. Additional Red Cross workers from New Jersey are expected to travel to the affected region in the coming weeks.
“We are grateful to our New Jersey volunteers who have stepped forward to help families devastated by Hurricane Matthew during this difficult time,” said Montero. “We are asking those who wish to help to please volunteer, donate blood and consider making a financial donation to the Red Cross today to support the people affected by this disaster.”
How to Help:
Make a donation: The Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. Help people affected by Hurricane Matthew by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word MATTHEW to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from this disaster.
Volunteer: The American Red Cross New Jersey Region is offering training for new volunteers who wish to deploy to the Southeast to help those affected by Hurricane Matthew. Volunteers are needed to fill a variety of roles including working at shelters, assisting with feeding operations, distributing relief supplies, working in a warehouse, loading/unloading supplies from trucks and recovery casework. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, in good general health and commit to a minimum of two weeks working in the Southeast. Training and travel-related expenses are covered by the Red Cross. Volunteer opportunities for virtual work, which allows volunteers to assist with the relief operation from here in New Jersey, are also available and include recovery casework. Visit redcross.org/NJ for more information and to register for training.
Give blood, platelets: In parts of the country unaffected by the storm, the Red Cross needs eligible individuals to please give blood or platelets now to help ensure we have a readily available blood supply for patients in need. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Flooding Forces More Blood Drive Cancellations:
The Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donations. Since last week, Hurricane Matthew and its devastating aftermath have forced the cancellation of approximately 100 blood drives in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, resulting in more than 3,100 uncollected blood and platelet donations. Additional blood drive cancellations are possible in the Southeast as major flooding and power outages still affect many areas.
In particular, the need for platelet donations is critical right now. Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation and, therefore, are always in demand.
In parts of the country unaffected by the storm, the Red Cross needs eligible individuals to please give blood or platelets now to help ensure we have a readily available blood supply for patients in need. Even before the threat of Hurricane Matthew, there was an urgent need for donors of all blood types, especially type O. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About the American Red Cross in New Jersey:
The American Red Cross provides programs and services to a population of 8.8 million in New Jersey. The Red Cross trains and mobilizes more than 5,800 volunteers who support the delivery of services throughout the state. In New Jersey last year, the Red Cross responded to 889 local disasters, mostly home fires, helping 1,820 displaced families; collected 88,439 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; provided 3,920 military family case services with emergency messages, helping families find assistance and/or get counseling and referrals; and trained 117,088 individuals with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. For more information, please visit redcross.org/NJ or visit us on Twitter @NJRedCross.

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