Hurricane Harvey is interfering with blood collections in Texas Gulf Coast Communities. The need is critical and San Angelo’s United Blood Services is asking Concho Valley residents to donate.
“There are a lot of needy people in Houston who can use our blood,” says Joe Kincheloe, a San Angelo Donor.
United Blood Services in the Houston area have not been able to open since being hit by flood waters.
“Blood centers are still not operational and if they are operational, there are no people to donate because they’ve been evacuated,” says Linda Grace, Sr. Donor Recruitment Representative for United Blood Services.
So centers across the country including San Angelo are hoping more people donate soon.
“Having a disruption of one day and not being able to collect blood has a major impact and here’s why. Because what we consider to be an adequate supply of blood on hand is 3 days. And how long has the storm been going on? That’ll help you understand why it’s so important ,” says Grace.
UBS centers in West Texas are hoping to get at least a thousand pints of blood donated by Monday.
“You can make a difference. Its so easy to do,” says Grace.
The average time to donate, including filling out paperwork, is about 45 minutes to an hour.
Linda Grace says a lot of people don’t donate because they don’t know what to expect.
“The most interesting thing I found in the 12 years that I’ve been with the United Blood Services is when people say they’re afraid and they push past their fear. I find that they come back to me with a big grin on their face and say I don’t know why I was so afraid,” says Grace.
Joe Kincheloe donates often.
“That is one thing I’ve always enjoyed is helping out other people in any way I can,” says Kincheloe.
He says every time he donates, he knows he’s helping save a life.
“It feels great, it really does,” says Kincheloe.
United Blood Services is hoping others are willing to do the same.
“Can you imagine what it means, a life time to that person that’s receiving that blood that you decided to donate,” say Grace.