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April 16, 2021

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Red Cross, Paul Davis Restoration join forces to collect blood amid shortage

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:
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The American Red Cross teamed up with Paul Davis Restoration of Portland/Vancouver for a blood drive Wednesday in Vancouver in response to blood shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Red Cross needs a constant supply of blood.
The American Red Cross teamed up with Paul Davis Restoration of Portland/Vancouver for a blood drive Wednesday in Vancouver in response to blood shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Red Cross needs a constant supply of blood. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused issues throughout America, including shortages in the blood supply, so Paul Davis Restoration of Portland/Vancouver stepped in to help.

On Wednesday afternoon, Paul Davis partnered with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive with employees and friends and family of employees at its Vancouver location. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, a maximum of 23 people could donate blood on Wednesday.

Doug Keller, an emergency recovery coordinator with Paul Davis, said the drive was particularly meaningful because the company cleans up and repairs damage to properties due to water, fire, mold, storms or other disasters.

“We try to take care of people and help them out, just like Red Cross does,” Keller said.

Traditionally, up to a quarter of donated blood in the U.S. comes from school blood drives, Keller said, so the Red Cross is seeking new ways to collect blood.

“We’ve had to get creative,” said Shelly Kroll, a Red Cross representative. “The need for blood is constant.”

The Wednesday drive is an example of that ingenuity. Keller said 60 percent of the donors on Wednesday were first-time donors, including himself.

“That’s really cool,” Keller said. “We have a sense of pride of being able to help out the Red Cross and others in our community.”

The plan is to make Paul Davis a regular blood drive stop, Kroll said. Drives might be held there once every four to six months, depending on what works.

“This is the first of many blood drives,” Kroll said.

How and where to donate

If you have received a positive COVID-19 test recently, you must be at least 14 days past your symptoms before giving blood. People who are vaccinated for COVID-19 can give blood and do not need to wait.

If you donate blood to the Red Cross before April 15, you might win a VIP package and trip to the 2022 Indianapolis 500.

When you donate blood, the Red Cross will check it for COVID-19 antibody levels. Convalescent plasma may be used as treatment for those in hospitals with COVID-19.

To book an appointment or find out about pop-up blood donation drives, visit RedCrossBlood.org.

You can also donate blood through Bloodworks Northwest. To learn more about donation opportunities through Bloodworks, visit www.bloodworksnw.org/donate.

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