Long-time Blood Donor’s Home Damaged by Sandy

John Paxton
I've been donating blood since 1956 and now Red Cross is here for me.

Superstorm Sandy has caused devastation all along the East Coast. When Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Jersey shore, Atlantic City felt some of the storm’s worst effects. Most of the city flooded, residents had to be evacuated, and portions of the famous Atlantic City boardwalk were destroyed. One man with a long relationship with the American Red Cross was one of the thousands affected

Lifelong resident John Paxton, 75, stayed in the coastal city during the storm and like so many others, his home was damaged. He said the first high tide Sunday brought the water to the curb near his home. High tide on Monday brought two feet of water into his home. Paxton says he is okay, that electricity has been restored and he is waiting for other utilities like gas and television cable to come back.

The Atlantic City resident has a long relationship with the Red Cross. He started giving blood in the 1950’s when a friend needed blood, and has been donating every since. He was scheduled to give blood this week. When he’s able to, it will be his 272nd donation, for a total of 34 gallons. “The island is still locked down. I can’t get off yet, but I’m hoping things open up soon so I can give blood.”

After all the support Paxton has given to the Red Cross over the years, now we are able to help him. "What goes around comes around,” he said. “I've been donating blood since 1956 and now Red Cross is here for me.”

PLEASE GIVE BLOOD Sandy has also caused the cancellation of hundreds of Red Cross blood drives. Many like John are unable to keep their donation appointments. This has resulted in a shortfall of thousands of blood products. People who are eligible are asked to schedule a blood donation in the days and weeks to come, especially if they live outside the areas impacted by the storm.

The public has been very supportive in response to the call for blood donors, and additional donors are needed. It’s the blood already available that helps save lives before, during and after a disaster like Sandy. The Red Cross encourages blood and platelet donations in the days and weeks ahead in areas unaffected by this storm.

To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them. Some states allow 16-year-olds to give with parental consent.

HOW TO HELP The Red Cross has a huge relief response underway to help people like Paxton, providing people across a number of states with a safe place to stay, food to eat and comfort during this difficult time. The response to Sandy is very large and very costly and the Red Cross needs the public’s help now. People can make a financial donation by visiting www.redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may also be sent to someone’s local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.

Image caption: John Paxton has been giving blood since the 1950’s and was scheduled to give his 272nd donation when Sandy slammed into Atlantic City. He is one of thousands whose homes were damaged by the storm.

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About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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