Need for blood donations, volunteers to assist Kentucky following tornado disaster

NOW: Need for blood donations, volunteers to assist Kentucky following tornado disaster

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KENTUCKY (CBS 58) -- Before the disastrous storm that devastated Kentucky and many other states, officials with the American Red Cross say they were already facing a blood shortage, they say if more donors don’t come forward, some patients who need transfusions may have to wait.

They’re depending on volunteers and people like you at home to help their response to the crisis.

“I come here donating blood because they need the blood around the country with the recent parade that happened in Waukesha and the Kentucky disaster, so I give the blood and they take it and do whatever they need to do with it," said Kim Wutke, one of many at a blood drive in Muskego Monday.

Elizabeth Ross was there as well.

She said she's donated 16 gallons since 1972, she says for each gallon she gets a pin.

“I have a hat with my 16 pins on display yes indeed," said Ross, “it keeps you healthy, you think I want to donate blood so I’m going to eat healthy and drink enough fluids, and exercise.”

American Red Cross Regional CEO Mark Thomas said doing something small like donating blood can go a long way.

“We will work with the individuals to tailor their volunteer experience based on their needs and their availability," said Thomas.

“it’s rewarding when you walk out of here, you feel like you hope your blood is going to the right centers and right donations for people, it’s a good feeling," said Wutke.

American Red Cross officials say two volunteers from Wisconsin are on their way to Kentucky.

If you're interested in donating blood, you can schedule an appointment now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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