In Kingsport, the American Red Cross is known for disaster services, health and safety courses, service to the armed forces, and other programs, but blood collection is also something the Red Cross does but many in Northeast Tennessee aren't aware of it.
On July 14, disaster workers and other in Kingsport hosted a blood drive for the first time to help raise awareness. The idea is to help the Red Cross Blood Services office in Johnson City collect more blood this summer. Donations tend to drop off in the summer but the needs is constant year-round.
"It doesn't matter whether you're a Red Cross volunteer working in disaster services or blood services," said Community Chapter Executive Glenda Bobalik. "There is one Red Cross mission and that is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies."
Red Cross staff and volunteers also participated in the program taking time out of their day to give blood.
The Red Cross is hosting to hold similar blood drives at its Kingsport office every few weeks.