Blood shortage: YMCA of Southern WV steps up to help

These are trying times when it comes to blood.

According to the American Red Cross, the number of people donating is at a 20-year-low. So the YMCA of Southern WV stepped up to help.

“After being here the first time and talking to people they heard some of the stories of why people give,” said Chief Operating Officer Matt Bishop. “And it really touched their hearts and made them want to come back.”

Cat Gunther was one of them.

“Found out I’m a universal donor and a candidate for a power red, which means I can donate more at one time, the aquatics director said. “So that’s what I’m doing this time around.”

Donors are urgently needed to ease the national blood shortage. Give blood and save a life because you never know who you might be helping.

It’s a wonderful feeling knowing you’re saving a life.

“It goes hand in hand with being a lifeguard; we’re responsible for saving lives every single day,” said Gunther. “And now it’s really neat — the app you can track where your blood goes and I was informed that it was used in a VA hospital in Pennsylvania last time.”

Since the day 15 years ago when Bishop’s nephew needed a blood transfusion and there was a shortage, the COO has given.

“We’ve had two college students, we’ve had some senior citizens come, we have some of our members come, some non-members are coming in,” Bishop said. “It’s just been an influx of everybody.”

If you’re eligible, it’s crucial to donate blood because of all those lives that depend upon it.

“There are so many different circumstances that they can use blood and without it people could die,” said Gunther. “It’s so important to save a life and it’s the easiest way to give back.”

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