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Arlington Rises Up to Need as Red Cross Combats Blood Shortage

Several town residents came out to donate blood at Arlington's Knights of Columbus on Wednesday.

Several Arlingtonians came out to donate blood Wednesday, hoping to meet the demands of a critically low blood shortage nationwide.

The Red Cross has issued an appeal for blood donors this summer. In a statement, officials said the demand for blood produts remains steady, but donations this summer are the lowest in more than a decade. 

In Arlington, several residents came out to support the cause.

"Donating saves lives," said Richard Hickey, as he pumped blood into a bag at  on Wednesday. "We're all in this thing together."

In Massachusetts, the Red Cross provides blood to 73 hospitals, which requires 650 people to donate blood every weekday, according to a statement from the Red Cross. The donations help saves lives of accident victims, patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses.

Warren Johnson began donating blood in 1953, when he was a church minister in Ohio. His Wednesday donation brought his personal tally to about 17 gallons of blood, he said.

Johnson encourages others to donate. “It’s a constant need, no matter where you go," he said.

How to donate

Eligible blood donors are asked to call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make an appointment.  

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

— This news story contains material from an American Red Cross press release.

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