Local Red Cross collected 2,729 units of blood for 2009

Published 10:36 am Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Last year, residents of Mower County donated almost enough blood to supply the country’s need for about an hour and a half.

It’s a greater feat than it seems.

The Mower County Chapter of the Red Cross collected 2,729 units of blood in 2009. According to the Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.

Blood collection is one of several Red Cross services that saw an increase in 2009, according to the Mower County chapter’s annual report. Also among services that were up from 2008 were the personal care shelf, disaster relief and volunteer services.

The Personal Care Shelf provided personal care items to 634 individuals last year, compared to 420 the year before.

The items that the Red Cross provides through the shelf are not available through other agencies. Red Cross service partners refer clients for this assistance, and families are eligible to use the care shelf twice a year.

“Word is getting out that it is a service that’s available. People don’t always think about it, but like food, these are items that people need and that are an important part of or quality of life,” said Brigitte Campbell, executive assistant at the Red Cross.

Volunteers make up 99 percent of the chapter’s workforce. The local chapter had almost 60 more volunteers in 2009 than the previous year— 361 volunteers contributed more than 50,000 hours of service. The Red Cross said this contribution is worth about $1.5 million.

“This has been huge for us,” Campbell said. “We could not increase our services without this community backing.”

Red Cross Annual Report Stats

Responded to 14 local disasters,

11 residential fires

Distributed 1,923 meals during the fire and tornado

Provided disaster education to 2,097 people

Lifesaving training to 4,072 people

Emergency connections for 27 military families

Personal Care Shelf served 634 individuals

Collected 2,729 units of blood