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Need for blood donors rises after winter storms

The rare winter storms that caused travel nightmares and scheduling chaos also impacted the ability of the American Red Cross to gather donated blood. To help, one Selma church is organizing a blood drive.

Northside Baptist Church, 2950 Citizens Pkwy. in Selma, will host a blood drive for the Red Cross from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 18, and Kathy Smith, Women’s Missionary Unit leader at Northside, said the need is very real.

“We currently have a big demand for blood,” Smith said. “And with it being February, we are hoping everybody can come out, be a sweetheart and help out somebody else’s heart. We aren’t dealing with a disaster now, but we need to replenish the blood.”

Smith said the church hosts similar events every three months, but weather has impacted the last several blood drives.

“The last three have all fallen on the night with terrible weather, and that did not help,” Smith said. “But normally, we exceed our goals during these drives.”

Anyone looking to donate blood should call Smith before hand at 874-6587 to make an appointment.

When someone arrives at the church on the day of the blood drive, Smith, who coordinates the Red Cross blood drives at Northside, said the nurses and volunteers on hand will make sure they are in good health before drawing their blood.

“At the nurses station, the donors will answer some questions on the computer and they will take their iron level and blood pressure,” Smith said. “And if you are not healthy by any means, they will not jeopardize your health for anybody else’s.”