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Red Cross in urgent need of blood donations

Red Cross

The holidays, flu season, and especially the winter weather have caused a blood shortage, according to the American Red Cross.

More than 150 blood drives have been canceled so far in Iowa and Wisconsin due to the cold, resulting in 28,000 fewer donations than what was needed in November and December. The American Red Cross and frequent donors are calling on others to donate.

The recent weather also canceled blood drives in other parts of the country hard hit by the winter storm, from South Carolina to Maine.

“It can't be manufactured. The only way we can get blood is through one another. We can't stockpile blood, so we always have to have blood on the shelves,” said Laura McGuire, a communications manager with the Red Cross.

“I feel guilty that I can come in here, lay here for two hours, take a nap and do good for someone who is really in need of it, desperately,” said Rodger Zoch, a McFarland man who said he donates 19 times a year.

The Red Cross is pushing to collect enough blood during the challenging winter months. That is one reason why January is National Blood Donor Month.

If you'd like to donate, go to redcrossblood.org.

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