VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - On Wednesday, partnered with the American Red Cross, Valdosta fire and police departments hosted their annual Battle of the Badges Blood Drive.
With the pandemic, the need for blood donations is much higher this time around. There is currently a shortage and the Red Cross is pleading for donations.
Due to COVID-19, more than 50,000 blood drives have been canceled in the southern region, according to the Red Cross.
They depend heavily on blood drive events at schools and businesses for collection. The Red Cross provides about 74 percent of the blood in Georgia.
Terri Jenkins, an executive director at American Red Cross, tells me the Battle of Badges event is very critical here in the state.
“It is more critical than ever people realize the importance of donating blood. The Red Cross is also reaching out to recovered COVID patients to donate plasma,” said Jenkins.
Not only is it important for COVID-19 patients, but also for any type of surgery or emergency in the hospitals. Those who donate in the event, they will be tested for antibodies.
Donors can check their results through the Red Cross app and also check where the blood was donated too.
The police and fire department chiefs are encouraging the community to donate.
”This year is important because of the pandemic, there haven’t been blood donations going on because people have been home but we are still having people in need of blood. Right now there is a blood shortage so it’s extremely important people come out and give,” said Chief Leslie Manahan with Valdosta Police Department.