Volunteers needed: Red Cross demonstrates how easy and safe it is to be a donation center volunteer

Volunteers needed: Red Cross demonstrates how easy and safe it is to be a donation center volunteer

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - COVID-19 is preventing a lot of things from happening: concerts, big family gatherings and something you may not think about, blood donations.

A new blood donation center in Wilmington opened in June, but for it to run effectively it needs more volunteers which, in turn, will bring in more blood donations.

“It’s a chance to meet the donors, a chance to meet other volunteers that have the same common goals," said James Seigh, who has been Red Cross Blood Center Volunteer for nearly 20 years. “You also get to work with some really great Red Cross staff.”

Like just about anywhere else, safety precautions are in place. Temperature checks, sanitizing stations, masks... they’re all provided to keep donors and the volunteers safe.

“Our priority if the safety of the person who comes to donate blood," said Seigh. "That’s my priority... to make it as safe as possible for them and the training we get helps us do that successfully.”

The training is simple: an online video, a PowerPoint presentation, and someone walks you through a few steps. The volunteers check in the blood donors and make sure they’re all set to give blood. The job also includes giving the donors snacks and drinks and make sure they feel alright before leaving the center.

A short process that could have a lasting impact.

“I graduated from UNCW in May as a public health degree so this is kind of right up my ally," said Taylor Kurosad. She answered the call to help and within just minutes, she became the latest volunteer. She was trained by Seigh.

“It was so easy,” said Kurosad.

The U.S. Surgeon General said there is a concern about the potential for future blood shortages.

If you’d like to become a blood center volunteer, click here. To make an appointment to donate blood, click here.

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