Red Cross collecting blood donations for Hurricane Matthew - WNEM TV 5

Red Cross collecting blood donations for Hurricane Matthew

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The Red Cross is rushing to get a head start on blood donations as Hurricane Matthew smashes into the coast of Florida on its way north to the Carolinas.

It’s a race not only for donations but to train volunteers who want to help.

"We have our emergency response vehicle that's located in Flint that was picked up and taken down to South Carolina,” Tony Lasher said.

Lasher is the executive director of the East Central Bay Chapter of the American Red Cross in Michigan. He said the organization's volunteers and resources are at the ready to assist those affected by Hurricane Matthew.

"Whenever landfall comes with Matthew we expect this to be a long response,” Lasher said.

Lasher said it wasn't long ago that here in Mid-Michigan we were at the on-set of Flint's water crisis and national volunteers from the Red Cross came here to help.

Now, he said it's our turn to return the favor.

"It's time for our volunteers to return the effort. It's time for our vehicles and our assets that need to be used for the people of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. It's time to give back,” Lasher said.

Right now, no volunteers from Mid-Michigan have been deployed yet.

Lasher expects that to change over the next week. He said these people, who may be away from home for two to three weeks at a time, are special.

“These people do look forward to that. They have passion for the mission. They care very much about people. So anytime they get the opportunity to get out there and help people they're willing to do it,” Lasher said.

If you'd like to volunteer your time or make a blood donation, it's easy.

You can set up an appointment with the Red Cross, just click here

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