Amid decline in donations, American Red Cross holds blood drive at Chartway Arena in Norfolk

Norfolk

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The American Red Cross held a blood drive in Norfolk on Tuesday to get much-needed donations.

The event took place from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the front lobby of the Chartway Arena on 4320 Hampton Boulevard.

Kelsey Rosecrans, who is the senior account manager, for the American Red Cross says donations right now are down.

They’re also having a hard time finding places to host blood drives and are grateful Chartway opened its doors.

“It’s been challenging,” said Rosecrans. “We’ve been having to find new locations. A lot of places are closed. There’s limited space. We’re not running bloodmobiles right now. That has also been an issue. We’ve been reaching out to big establishments like Chartway to open their doors and get space.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States is in need of blood, according to Rosecrans. Their goal for Tuesday’s drive was to collect 25 pints, which would equal out to about 30 to 40 donors.

But, they’re seeing a decline in donations as well, especially among young adults.

“We collect 30% of those donations from young adults in Hampton Roads. We have not seen those young adults coming in to donate. We’re reaching out to get them to donate at places like Chartway Arena,” she said.

Chartway is located at Old Dominion University.

Rosecrans says spring break, vacations, and warmer weather as well as an increase in vaccinations has caused a decline in donations. Virtual learning and not having students on campus is another reason, according to Rosecrans who says they work with schools for donation drives.

She encourages anyone 16 and older to give when they can or to donate space needed because a little can go a long way.

“When you donate blood, you save up to three lives. That means three more birthdays for patients in the hospital,” Rosecrans said.

All blood donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.

The test results will be available within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or on the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org

For more information, click here.

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