The Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library held its first-ever winter Red Cross blood drive on Monday afternoon, amid what the Red Cross has called a critical shortage of blood.
The library has been assisting the Red Cross with the blood drives for approximately eight years, said library Director Alex Gutelius.
According to the Red Cross, someone urgently needs blood every two seconds in the United States.
In 2016, the organization reported that it had less than a five-day supply of blood on hand.
The blood drive used to happen at the library annually, Gutelius said, usually in July. However, the July event proved to be so well-attended last year that organizers decided to hold another blood drive in the winter.
“It was so popular last year,” Gutelius said on Monday.
On average, at least 50 people turn out for the five-hour blood drive. The Red Cross also periodically hosts blood drives at the Clifton Park Town Hall.
Kimberlie Meyer of Clifton Park arrived to the library shortly after 1 p.m. and was waiting for her turn to donate shortly after the drive kicked off.
Meyer’s blood type, O positive, is the most common blood type, which means it’s crucial for her to donate when she can, she said.
People might not think about the need for blood until they find themselves in an emergency situation, she said.
That’s why it’s necessary for those who are able to donate, she added.
“It’s very in demand. Infants can use this. It’s so easy to go through those small packets,” she said.
A representative from the Red Cross could not be reached for comment on Monday.