'A great response': American Red Cross of Wisconsin reflects on past year as need for donations continues

’A great response’: American Red Cross of Wisconsin reflects on past year as need for donations continues

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) – A year into the pandemic, the need for blood donations continues across the country.

The American Red Cross says the response from the public over the last 12 months has been great, especially in Wisconsin.

“We’re still seeing a great response,” American Red Cross of Wisconsin communications director Justin Kern said. “The response from people across the country and in Wisconsin was just phenomenal. We’ve been over our monthly goals every single month since COVID hit.”

However, there’s always a need as the Red Cross supplies 40 percent of the nation’s blood.

“What we’ve seen in the past year is no matter what a pandemic or disasters throw at us, the American public wants to help,” he said.

Kern explained last year leaders at the organization had to quickly pivot to make blood donations possible, while keeping everyone safe.

“It’s just been amazing the way we’ve adapted,” he said. “Checking temperatures, making sure everything is cleaned off multiple times, really focusing on appointments rather than people walking in.”

Since June, the Red Cross has also been testing donors for antibodies to help those currently fighting COVID-19. The effort will continue through at least May.

“It’s one of the things where I think people realized, this is a crucial need, this is something that is fundamental to keeping everything going to make sure the shelves are stocked with blood,” Kern said.

The Red Cross says if someone has been vaccinated, they can most likely give blood right away, but should bring their vaccination card to their appointment.

More information can be found on the Red Cross’ website.

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