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Red Cross Hopes Donors Will Give Blood On Sept. 11, Beyond

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Last September, people in North Carolina and across the nation made it a point to give blood. Officials say donors waited for hours in some cases. Now local chapters of the organization are hoping people will give again.

Shirley Pitt is doing what the Red Cross loves to see -- giving blood on an ordinary day.

"They say it helps save lives. Maybe my blood will help save someone's life one day," she said.

Nationally, officials say blood supplies are unusually low right now. For the first time, the American Red Cross has issued three emergency appeals during a single summer. Donations have dropped after last September's record-breaking turnout when donors waited in line to roll up their sleeves.

"There was such a tremendous response. The call went out nationally for people to give blood and the public responded overwhelmingly," said Ernie Smith, of the Wilson County Red Cross.

The blood supply is expected to improve some on Sept. 11 as Americans look for ways to show their patriotism again, but Smith said he would also like people to go before or after that date.

"We know that the public is going to want to respond for this year's anniversary of Sept. 11 and part of our effort has been to encourage them not to wait for that particular day, but to take part in the remembrance and the observance through the whole month of September," he said.


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