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Oct 31, 2012 12:09 AM by Rebecca Taylor

Donate blood while you shop in Tucson

TUCSON - Superstorm Sandy has created an urgent need for blood donations.

The storm forced the cancellation of hundreds of blood drives along the East coast.

Tucsonans are stepping up to help.

Why not give the gift of life, while you're out shopping?

The Foothills Mall is one of two American Red Cross blood and platelet donation sites in Tucson.

The generosity of this community never disappoints. On Tuesday, dozens of Tucsonans were rolling up their sleeves.

Mary and Dick Brown are Red Cross volunteers, "If you can do it, please donate blood."

In addition to victims of the disaster, supply is needed for everyday emergencies.

The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood.

"With power out to 7.5 million on the East coast, the American Red Cross will be keeping their shelters open," says Richard White, Regional CEO of the Red Cross.

"Several thousand people are sleeping and eating in our shelters and working with our mental health experts. And this will continue for several days," he adds.

In order to donate, you should be at least 17 years old or have parental consent, and weigh 110 pounds.

If you're a first time donor, bring your driver's license or two other forms of identification with you.

You may also want to bring a list of any medications you are taking.

"In addition, we'd ask everyone to consider making a donation to the American Red Cross, this is an extraordinarily expensive operation," says White. "Even when the headlines die down in a couple weeks, this operation will go on for weeks."

The Browns say, "It's maybe kind of human nature. Trying to be a good neighbor. The urge to help. If there's people in need, we're ready to provide support to them."

There are two blood and platelet donation sites in Tucson:
7139 E. Broadway Blvd.
7401 N. La Cholla Blvd, inside the Foothills Mall.

To drop off monetary donations, head to 2916 E. Broadway.

Additional mobile blood drives happen regularly too.

Head to redcross.org for details and to schedule an appointment.

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are appreciated.

You can also make a monetary donation using your mobile phone. Text 'RedCross' to 90999. Charges will apply to your mobile phone bill.

If you'd like to become a Red Cross volunteer, an orientation will be held Thursday, November 1, 2012.

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