Annual Katrina blood drive exceeds expectations

Annual Katrina blood drive exceeds expectations
Red Cross leaders say they got about 400 pints of blood. (Image Source: WLOX News)
Red Cross leaders say they got about 400 pints of blood. (Image Source: WLOX News)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The American Red Cross commemorated the 10 year anniversary of Katrina with a weekend-long blood drive. A Red Cross spokesman says the big blood drive could not have come at a better time for this region.

The old Champs store in Edgewater Mall was set up like a makeshift clinic. Some made appointments, others just walked in with a will to give blood as a way to commemorate Hurricane Katrina.

"It's one of those milestone markers that just kind of makes us reflect as we go through things day by day, and then you're just hitting the big ten year mark, it's just like wow look at how far we've come," said Jenney Bell.

Jenney Bell and her sister Juliana Bell came out to the annual blood drive together. They say they try to do it every year as a way to thank the Red Cross for helping the Gulf Coast recover from the storm.

"I'm proud to even be here today to do what I can do for the Katrina victims and anything else," said Juliana Bell.

Tiffany Taylor, who is the External Communications Director for Alabama and the Central Gulf Coast Region was proud to see all the people who were excited to support the Red Cross.
"I think so many people come out to this because they want to pay homage to not only the victims but victors, and our heroes who helped during that time of devastation," said Taylor.

The annual Katrina blood drive couldn't have come at a better time. Taylor says the Gulf Coast Region has been putting out calls for blood donors all summer.

"It's our hope that it will put a dent in that looming blood shortage, and that we'll be able to say that Biloxi came out, showed up, and showed out to help save lives," said Taylor.

Red Cross leaders were happy to report that they received 400 pints of blood over the past two days, which exceeded their goal.

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