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Giving blood a big way to help in crises

Most of us have had to be on the defensive against COVID-19. We practice social distancing, good personal hygiene, etc., to defend ourselves and our loved ones against the coronavirus.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go on the offensive — to save someone’s life?

We can. Every day, throughout our country, men, women and children battling injury and illness need transfusions of blood. Most of it is collected at blood drives.

But COVID-19 forced the American Red Cross to cancel about 9,000 blood drives that had been scheduled throughout the country. Many in our area had to be postponed.

That has resulted in a major shortage of blood, putting people who are not suffering from COVID-19 at greater risk.

Red Cross officials have begun rescheduling many blood drives, in the hope that the coronavirus epidemic will taper off and the collections can be held safely. Kudos to the Jewish Community Center for stepping up last weekend to host a needed blood drive and to all those who turned out to donate during this critical time.

This week a blood drive is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at St. Demetrios Community Center on Atlantic Street in Warren. Other drives also are scheduled for this week in Austintown and Youngstown, but all the appointment times have already been filled. That tells us donors are stepping up to roll up their sleeves. We hope you will, too!

If you are able to donate blood, we encourage you to do so as soon as possible. Blood banks are being drained. People’s lives are at risk — indirectly because of COVID-19.

If you want more information or to schedule a donation, you can go to the Red Cross website — redcrossblood.org.

Even in normal times, Red Cross technicians take extraordinary steps to ensure the blood collection process is safe. Because of the coronavirus, precautions have been stepped up.

Many of your neighbors already have decided to fight back. They have signed up for blood drives. Join them. Fight back against COVID-19.

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