Red Cross: Blood Donations Down Due to Winter Weather

Updated: 03/31/2014 5:38 PM
Created: 03/31/2014 5:08 PM
By: Maarja Anderson

This winter has been one to remember. Lots of snow and frigid temperatures have led to headaches on the road, at home, and countless cancellations of school and other events, including blood drives.

"There were 1,500 blood drives nationally canceled this winter due to the severe winter weather," said Dan Williams, the executive director for the American Red Cross-Northland Chapter in Duluth. "Slippery roads, cold conditions, and storms... there's been an affect both here in the Northland, but also nationally."

He said the Red Cross estimates they've lost 50,000 blood donations since winter began.

The need is still there, however, so now the Red Cross is trying to stock back up. March is Red Cross Month and they've invited the public "to discover their inner hero" by donating.

Northlanders are doing their part. Dozens signed up and donated for their own reason Monday in Duluth.

"I have the universal donor, O-negative, so I try to give a lot," said Jennifer Thomalla, a student at UMD.

Thomalla donates every eight weeks.

"At work I've seen people that needed blood from accidents," explained Jim Matson of Esko.

Matson donates, despite his fear of needles

"I don't look!" he said.

But after just 6 minutes and 4 seconds, Matson is all done. He can now go home knowing he may save a life.

"It's really just a life-saving gift that someone can give by donating blood," said Williams.

The Northland Chapter is still in need of more donations. To find a Red Cross blood drive or schedule a donation click here.

In the next few weeks they have drives scheduled in:

  • Crosslake
  • Hill City
  • Hayward
  • Spooner
  • Ironton
  • Aitkin

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