We have never known the American Red Cross to cry wolf when it comes to its blood supplies.
When its representatives approach The Tribune-Democrat and other members of the media to address blood shortages and to seek help in recruiting critical donors, we know they mean business.
And in the case of the Red Cross, that’s lifesaving business.
“This year we are particularly low,” spokeswoman Marianne Spampinato told our summer intern, Sean Sauro, last week, explaining that blood supplies historically are down during summer months.
“About 30 percent of our (area’s) donations are given during college and high school drives,” she said.
That certainly says a lot about our young people.
But it isn’t just blood that’s in short supply, Spampinato reported. “Hospital orders for platelets are outpacing donations, making it a significant challenge to meet patient needs,” she said.
“A constant supply is needed for cancer, surgery, transplant and other special patients every day.”
On Thursday, as our nation celebrates its independence, we hope our readers’ thoughts will focus, too, on another kind of hero, one whose actions aren’t necessarily in defending our nation around the world.
We know people who for years have regularly donated blood and blood platelets so they can assist others in need. It’s a routine they take seriously.
We see them as heroes.
We hope you do, too, and are encouraged enough by their selfless acts to answer the Red Cross’ plea for help this summer.
Giving blood and blood platelets is relatively pain-free and doesn’t take a lot of time.
Area American Red Cross Blood Services headquarters is along Jari Drive in Richland Township.
• To call for an appointment: 262-2000.
• Online: www.redcross.org; click on “Donating Blood.”