Residents across the Santa Clarita Valley lined up to donate blood Friday amid a blood shortage exacerbated by wildfires throughout the West.
The American Red Cross held a blood drive at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex in an effort to shore up the supply, which was already diminished due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There’s a shortage of blood in the Pacific Northwest due to the fires,” said Candy Jefferson, team supervisor with the American Red Cross. “Those areas had to close their donation centers so the blood donated today will go wherever it’s needed.”
Approximately 800 units of blood have been lost so far due to the fires, according to Jefferson.
Tiffany Gaffney, Santa Clarita resident, said she’s donated blood multiple times in the past, and heard there was a shortage due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I come to donate blood whenever I can,” Gaffney said. “I would hear about a shortage because of the virus so I feel compelled to donate now more than ever since so many people need it.”
Jefferson said two more blood drives will be held in the next month, and if residents would like to sign up to donate, they can do so by making a reservation at the American Red Cross’ website and typing in your ZIP code.
The upcoming blood drives will be at Elks Lodge No. 2379 on Wednesday and the Santa Clarita Sports Complex on Oct. 16.
Those who make reservations will be required to have their temperature taken and undergo a private health screening before donating.
To make a reservation for upcoming blood drives, visit https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html.