Red Cross: Donation numbers down

By Haley Burton
By Perry Russom

August 25, 2014 Updated Aug 25, 2014 at 6:20 PM EDT

Johnson City, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The American Red Cross reports blood donation numbers are down, especially now, coming off of the summer months.

"We collect 20 percent of our blood supply from our high schools and colleges and people are on vacation, so not as many people will come out and donate over the summertime," said Theresa Blank of the American Red Cross.

To increase the blood supply, the Red Cross had their Back to School Blood Drive at the Oakdale Mall on Friday, Saturday and Monday.

Donors received a free t-shirt and a $2.50 off coupon of Turkey Hill All Natural Ice Cream.

"There's a lot of people that don't give," said Blank. "They don't give to them because it's not personal to them. They don't realize how much they can do until somebody they know needs blood."

That's what happened to Christian Scarborough.

Her friend was hit by a car and that's when she says she knew she wanted to donate.

"To help save someone else's life," said Scarborough. "Even if it's just one life, it's still a life and that life means something to someone else."

You can give blood throughout the year at their blood donation centers like this one on Harry L. Drive. They're open six days a week with their off days being on Wednesday.

To give blood in New York State you have to be at least 17 years old, be healthy and weigh at least 110 pounds.

You can be 16 years old and donate as long as you have parental consent.

The Red Cross also asks that you eat and hydrate before showing up.

The average donor gives once a year and the Red Cross says if they gave at least twice, there wouldn't be shortages.

The American Red Cross has also partnered with the Southern Tier Food Bank. At the blood drive, donations were collected for the food bank's backpack program.

WBNG is a sponsor of the blood drive.

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