LUBBOCK, Texas — The pandemic has made it difficult to get blood donations, and this has caused blood shortages.

The American Red Cross asked the community for help to save lives. Blood drives have had a low turnout, and they struggled to get donations.  

“This is the first time that the American Red Cross has had a blood drive in Lubbock, Texas, so this is the first time we have partnered with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. If this goes well, then hopefully we’ll be able to do another one next fall,” said Deborah Finlayson, director of Red Cross South Plains.

They have taken many precautions to keep people safe. For one, the event is appointment only. They also asked for people to register online or to download the blood donor app.  

“The app allows you to pre-register, allows you to fill out all the forms before you even get to the blood drive location, and it will also notify you when the blood you have donated has been used and has saved a life,” said Finlayson.

They have 94 people currently signed up to donate, not even halfway to their goal of 200 appointments. They want residents to know how important it is to give and how it can make a difference.  

“Whether it’s coming local or not, it’s needed in all these places in all the places within Texas. So whether it’s staying here or not, it’s important to give,” said Keri Shiplet, Director of Student Life, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.   

Many of the volunteers are Texas Tech students who will assist in safety and help guests maintain social distancing.   

“Everyone will have plenty of space. That’s one of the biggest responsibilities of the student volunteers is to wipe things down and, of course, the American Red Cross. They have been putting on these blood drives. It’s really their expertise and their awareness that is going to keep everyone safe,” said Josh Willms, student volunteer. 

All appointments will be tested for COVID, and they will take many precautions to ensure all donations are taken safely. The drive is on April 26, 2021. They will be there from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.