FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - Red Cross volunteers in Fitzgerald are working to bring a struggling blood supply to full strength.
Patient after patient and poke after poke, the goal Monday was 100 units.
"Right now, we're in a dire need for blood," organizer Danny Pate said. "Back in October, when Hurricane Matthew came through, the Red Cross lost 1600 units of blood because of having to cancel blood drives due to the hurricane."
At least 80 people, from five counties, showed up to the community blood drive at First Baptist Church.
Among them was Marline Couey, who has now donated more than 23 gallons of blood since 1969. Couey said its a cause she's fully behind after she was able to keep her mother alive mid-surgery, thanks to a donation.
"They needed some blood and they said they didn't have any, but when I showed them my red cross card, they got it," Couey said. "So, it has been very important to me ever since."
The Red Cross says they see a lull in donations as people stay busy around the holidays. So, this is one way to make sure the vital resource is plentiful.
"There is no substitute for it," Pate said. "If you need blood, you're in a life or death situation. If you don't get it, you are going to die. Its just that important."
Pate adds that volunteers are doing all they can. So, the simple donation can end up transforming into a gift of life.