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Blood donations desperately needed

As Suffolk starts to come out of the pandemic to a bit of normalcy, there are still opportunities to make a difference and save lives.

Bethlehem Christian Church is hosting a blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m. on June 30, at 1549 Holland Road. Now through June 30, those who donate through American Red Cross will receive a $5 Amazon gift card through email.

According to the American Red Cross blood services website, there is a severe shortage, and all donors are desperately needed to help. There is no replacement for human blood. Anyone in need of blood must get it from a donor.

Maurice Copeland is a resident of Suffolk that has had his life saved by blood donations not once but twice. In 2018, he was in a tractor accident and due to being on blood thinning medication, he lost a lot of blood.

“I bled internally and had a broken pelvis, ribs and foot,” said Copeland. “The doctors told me I would never walk again, but the good Lord said I could.”

Copeland underwent a procedure to stop the internal bleeding. This procedure required blood donations from generous donors in order to work effectively.

“We were blessed that blood was provided,” said his wife, Faye. “If not, he wouldn’t have lived.”

Again, in March of 2020, Copeland was in another accident and received three pints of blood. As a regular blood donor himself, Copeland was saved by other’s donations.

“I would encourage anyone who can to give blood,” said Copeland. “It saves many lives, and I know it saved mine. In any way possible, give all you can so many lives are saved.”

According to the American Red Cross, a single donation of blood can help save three lives.

All blood types are needed, and those healthy and able are encouraged to help fight this blood shortage by rolling up their sleeves and donating.

To register for this and other blood drives, visit redcrossblood.org or download the American Red Cross blood donor app for more information.