RICHMOND (WRIC) - Virginia Blood Services is making a plea for donations after last week's storm left supplies at a critical level.
Lee Gibbs is answering the call to help like he does every two weeks.
"I have been donating for years," he says. "The Masonic group that I'm in donates blood regularly and we just feel it's good to do."
Virginia Blood Services' supplies are down 600+ units due to last week's winter storm. Drives were canceled across the commonwealth and regular donors couldn't make their appointments because of poor travel conditions or school closings.
Right now, all blood types are in demand, especially A-Negative, AB-Negative and O-Negative.
"The donor center called me and they said they needed my blood type," says donor Orin Rainock. I'm O-Negative. It's the universal donor, so it just helps."
Rainock is giving platelets for the first time knowing so many people are depending on his donation.
"Cancer patients… burn victims… it's an important medicine for those patients and if you don't have the right blood type than they don't have the medicine that they need," says Virginia Blood Services Spokesperson Katelyn Amos. "We've seen a really marked impact."
Virginia Blood Services is reaching out to new donors and ones who haven't given in a while. It's quick and painless and each donation can save three lives.
"It's a good thing to do and doesn't take that much time," Gibbs says.
To try to get more donations, Virginia Blood Services is offering extended hours at some donor centers and asking any groups that had to cancel a drive last week to reschedule.
For more information, go to vablood.org.
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