33rd Annual Media for Red Cross Blood Drive set to take place this week across the Coast

As businesses reopen and hospitals begin to resume surgical procedures, the American Red Cross is looking for healthy donors.
Updated: Jun. 23, 2020 at 5:42 PM CDT
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SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - The coronavirus pandemic is creating an urgent need for blood donations. If you wish to participate in this effort, the 33rd Annual Media for Red Cross Blood Drive is set to be held this week at various locations across the Coast.

For a limited time, the American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies.

“It’s not diagnostic but it gives them that peace of mind to know that they may have been exposed to it,” said donor recruitment manager Denise Smith.

The Media for Red Cross blood drive kicked off at the Pascagoula Senior Center. Blood donor Charles Woods said he was already in a giving mood and considered the antibody test to be a plus.

“I have to kind of watch myself, I have five daughters who are kind of germaphobic,” he said.

The Red Cross set up extra safety measures and screenings to make sure donors are fit for the cause.

“All of our donors in the waiting area are sitting six feet apart, the beds are set so that they’re six feet apart there… and of course we’re taking their temperature prior to entry,” Smith said.

Regular blood donors say they’re happy to get back to helping those who rely on transfusions, such as trauma patients or people with chronic illness.

“I’ve been giving blood for years now. I’ve got some good friends that have cancer and I feel like I can help them out,” said Phillip McMillian.

The Media for Red Cross drive hopes to collect 400 or more units of blood by the end of the week.

“It’s a big goal but Mississippians give and I know that we can hit that goal,” said Smith.

The dates and locations for the participating blood drives can be found below:

  • 6/24/20: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., Our Lady of the Gulf Catholic Church 228 S Beach Blvd., Bay St. Louis
  • 6/25/20: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Randol Senior Center Building 315 Clark Ave., Pass Christian.
  • 6/26/20: noon – 7 p.m., Edgewater Mall (old Champs) 2600 Beach Blvd., Biloxi
  • 6/27/20: 10:30 – 5:30 p.m., Edgewater Mall (old Champs) 2600 Beach Blvd., Biloxi.

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