MADISON (WKOW) -- A steady crowd of volunteers at the Madison Red Cross Thursday was a welcome sight after several blood drives were canceled during the bitterly cold weather we had last week.
"We're pretty happy with the fact that it is a snowy day and people here in Madison are still taking the time out of their day to give blood," Red Cross Communications Program Manager Brian Gomez says.
Lisa Zovar says she's a regular and a little snow Thursday didn't slow her down. "My car went up the driveway and into the snow mound on the side but that's okay, I just backed up and came on in," Zovar says.
The Red Cross says it needs more volunteers after a week of dangerously cold weather and snow. "We lost about 9,300 units of blood nationally. Here in Wisconsin, about 550 blood and platelet donations that we weren't able to collect, 14 drives canceled in Wisconsin and 320 drives all over the country," Gomez tells 27 News. He says the canceled drives were rescheduled but they often see a lower turnout because of the change in date and even though donations are down, the need remains the same.
"When the roads get slippery, unfortunately, car accidents happen, hunting accidents here in Wisconsin," Gomez says.
Zovar says she makes coming here a habit. "It's one of the things that you can give, even when you're broke...I can always give blood," she says.
The Red Cross points out it only takes an hour. "We know that people are busy and we know that when it snows and the weather gets bad people just want to stay inside, but there's still hospital patients in need and there's still people who rely on blood so we're really grateful for all the blood and platelet donors we have today," Gomez says.
The Red Cross is in urgent need of O negative, O positive, A negative and B negative blood types right now. The organization says it's also important to have a diverse blood supply because there are fewer complications when donated blood comes from someone of the same ethnicity.
For more information about donating and volunteering for the Red Cross, click here.