GLOVERSVILLE – January is National Blood Donor Month, and The Family Counseling Center of Fulton County will host a Red Cross Blood Drive this week.
This month marks the 53rd annual National Blood Donor Month. This Wednesday’s blood drive comes at a year when healthcare systems are in great need of donations, according to the organization.
“The Family Counseling Center has been at the heart of the community for over 46 years,” the organization’s Executive Director, Michael Countryman, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to continue to offer mental and behavioral health options to our neighbors through our programs and services. We are also thankful to our partners as we work together to build a healthy community.”
The appointments are all full for next week’s blood drive, explained The Family Counseling Center’s Director of Marketing and Fund Development, Jennifer Jennings. She called it an “amazing” show of support and commitment from community members looking to help their neighbors in need.
“Blood drives like this play a vital role to save lives and the Red Cross works hard daily to have a positive impact,” Jennings said. “The Family Counseling Center is honored to continue our partnership and support of the work the Red Cross does, act as a hub for their blood drives, and work together to build a healthy community.”
Storms which recently hit Buffalo severely impacted blood drives a few weeks ago, American Red Cross Blood Services Account Manager Anne Philippi explained. The Red Cross had to cancel 9,000 blood drives because of recent storms.
“When you have to cancel 9,000 blood drives you can imagine how far behind we get,” Philippi said. “We’re scrambling to try to collect, and even over collect at our drives to try to make up for that.”
Philippi thanked the Family Counseling Center for the number of blood drives they have organized. According to the Red Cross, only about 3% of the people who are eligible to donate blood do.
The amount of blood collected at a blood drive can range from 18 units of blood donated, 70, depending on the site and the number of donors, Philppi explained. Each unit of blood collected can save up to three lives, she said
The American Red Cross is always looking for new donors, Philippi said. She explained that while there are many people who have donated regularly for years, thing
“I encourage people that haven’t done it (donated blood) to try it,” Philppi said. “I’ve talked to so many first time donors and whether it was nerves, or they just don’t want to make the time or don’t see a need for it, everyone I’ve talked to came off the bed with a smile, saying they wished they had started doing it sooner.”
Blood can not be manufactured, it can only come from donors, Phillippi said. In times when there is not enough blood, hospitals have to choose which surgeries they can and can not do, she explained. The need for blood donations will never go away.
Scheduling an appointment for other blood drives in 2023 scheduled at The Family Counseling Center can be done through the Red Cross Blood Drive website.