Red Cross holds "Recovery 2011" campaign

SAN JOSE, Calif.

Red Cross blood donation centers usually aren't open on holidays, but this President's Day is an exception because the need for blood is urgent. The Red Cross says January donations were at their lowest level in a decade.

"Because of the bad weather we had on the East Coast and Midwest, were really down dramatically on donations," said Red Cross nurse Jaymie Morris, R.N.

Since January, severe weather has cancelled about 750 blood drives. The Red Cross says it's short more than 30,000 units and climbing. San Jose blood donor Amy Moody heard about the need and responded.

"It makes me feel like I'm doing something. I mean what else can I do to save a life? I can't think of anything else I can do except give blood," said Moody.

The effort to make up for blood lost due to bad weather even has a name: Recovery 2011. Part of the campaign meant many donation centers were open for the holiday.

"Today happened to be a holiday, figured there wouldn't be too many people. I'm working today, but it was convenient for me to come in," said San Jose blood donor Doug Kronzer.

The Red Cross says only three in every 100 people are regular blood donors. The Silicon Valley chapter is fortunate to have supporters who come from other counties like Rob Mayeda and his wife.

"So we usually do a mid-morning so we try to avoid some of the commute traffic on Highway 1 in Santa Cruz County and over 17," said Aptos blood donor Rob Mayeda.

In general Californian's don't give enough blood to even cover their own need for blood. Thirty to 40 percent of the blood used in Northern California comes from other states which is why bad weather elsewhere is hitting home.

Get more information on giving blood in your area at

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