VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Many evacuees are returning to their homes now that Hurricane Matthew has passed, but the need remains, and there are still many ways you can help out with relief efforts.
Empty chairs are all that fill the Valdosta Red Cross Blood Donation Center right now. "It's a little heartbreaking just knowing we have patients in need," said Carrie Terry.
A heartbreaking sight, especially after Hurricane Matthew pummeled the East Coast. "We were in an urgent need before the threat of Hurricane Matthew. So now we're even in more of a need," said Terry.
Hurricane Matthew forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate. "When it was all over, we had sheltered 1,117 shelter clients," said Terri Jenkins, by telephone.
Red Cross officials say people have really come together during this time of need. "When disaster happens and people are in need, all of the South Georgia counties step up. It is just an overwhelming and humbling feeling to see everybody come together," said Jenkins.
And now folks can continue to help. They urge anyone who can donate to head to a blood donation center. "Approximately 55 blood drives in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia had been cancelled," said Terry.
Cancellations that resulted in the Red Cross losing 1,800 blood and platelet donations. That's why officials say every donation counts. "Take a few minutes to come out and donate blood. It's going to be used and it's definitely needed," said Terry.
The Red Cross has this blood donation center in Valdosta. They also encourage folks to look out for any blood drives.