Hogansville PD, hosting blood drive to assist with shortage

Published 1:30 am Wednesday, December 29, 2021

HOGANSVILLE – Communities like Hogansville typically host several blood drives a year to give back to the community and the nation. On Thursday, the Hogansville Police Department will host an additional blood drive to assist the American Red Cross with a seasonal donation shortage it is experiencing. 

Johnny Williams, account manager for the American Red Cross, said the shortage is not new, but can often occur during the holiday season as potential donors travel.

“We collect a lot of blood from schools … but as schools let out and people are traveling, they tend to postpone donating,” Williams said. “You also have a lot of businesses that do blood drives with us that they postpone blood drives because they have so many people on vacation.” 

In recent weeks, disasters such as the Midwest tornadoes have made blood supplies even shortage, Williams noted. 

“Blood drives that were already set to take place were canceled because of tornadoes and the threat of weather,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard to reschedule blood drives because there’s no blood drives on the calendar. Blood we were expecting to collect we don’t collect sometimes.”

Williams said the American Red Cross stores its blood donations in a national database, meaning donations can be sent locally or even to the other side of the county, depending on what’s being asked.

Factors like COVID-19 continue to make potential donors wary, but Williams assure that safety precautions are kept in place. He added that those who have been previously infected with COVID-19 can still donate.

“If you’re symptom-free and well, you’re not deterred if you’ve ever had COVID and you’re not deterred if you’ve had the vaccination,” he said. “Donating blood is a very safe thing to do during COVID, and it’s also a very necessary thing.” 

HPD will host the blood drive at its police headquarters, 117 Lincoln St., from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

HPD Chief Jeff Sheppard the department’s blood drives typically garner up to 20 donors from its scheduled blood drives every three months.

“I want to get at least 25 donors at this drive,” he said.