American Red Cross affected by COVID-19 pandemic

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The American Red Cross is a vital operation for those in need of blood. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the Red Cross mission much more challenging.

Due to the closure of schools and other events, the organization has lost valuable resources.

“Now we can’t get into businesses. We’ve just lost all these units because of that. We only have four buses, so we can’t sustain this way. We need people to open their doors to us,” said American Red Cross account manager Janice Prochaksa.

Officials from the Red Cross say the pandemic has resulted in the loss of around 2,100 pints in the Tennessee Valley and Western Kentucky areas. Despite the hurdles, two blood drives rolled through South Central Kentucky on Friday; one at Bowling Green Junior High and another at New Friendship Baptist Church in Auburn. Local donors say the need is here now more than ever.

“If the CDC says we can be in this meeting, I’m going to give blood. People need it badly. We’re kind of in a pandemic,” said local blood donor Ben Matthews.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has captured the attention of the world, local donors say donating blood can’t be forgotten.

“Just taking a few minutes out of my day to save someone’s life, that’s such an easy tradeoff to make in your head,” Matthews said.

Donors emphasize that blood donation isn’t just important during a pandemic, but all the time.

“Twenty or 30 minutes vs a life …There’s no reason not to donate blood,” Matthews said.