"Presently, we actually have less than a three-day supply of all blood types," Red Cross Regional Manager of Donor Recruitment, Justin Mueller, said. "Specifically with Type O, we need the most of because we have less than a two-day supply."
The San Francisco 49ers teamed up with the American Red Cross to help do their part to ease the shortage by hosting a blood drive for the 49ers employees.
"It's so important to give blood given that you can save three lives just by showing up for maybe 30 minutes," San Francisco 49ers Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel Hannah Gordon said. "To give a part of yourself to someone else is an opportunity you don't want to pass up."
The best kind of drip saves lives. @RedCrossNorCal helped #49ers front office respond to an emergency shortage at today’s employee blood drive. You can save three lives in one donation! #GiveMoreLife pic.twitter.com/OazIQBFs0T— Hannah Gordon (@Gordon_Hannah) August 16, 2019
The initiative is part of the larger plan that the team has to give back and help any way they can.
"Every month, we have opportunities for our employees to volunteer in the community," Gordon said. "This time, the Red Cross was nice enough to bring the opportunity right to us."
The blood drive was hosted in the 49ers Museum Hall of Fame, a very unique place to give blood according to Mueller.
"Although we're out in the community every day, we never know where we're going to be," Mueller said. "Sometimes it's a church hall. Sometimes it's a convention center. It's very rare that we have Steve Young poking a donor in the eye or looking out for getting trapped in a huddle. It's a really awesome event and a really great partnership."
The Red Cross and the NFL have had a long standing partnership, especially when disaster strikes.
The 49ers hold true to that standard, especially recently when they honored the victims of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shootings in late July.
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Mueller said their constant want to help makes a big difference, especially with this blood shortage.
"The 49ers have been very proactive anytime that we have a disaster that takes place in our local communities," Mueller said. "The reality is the recent shootings are a highlight of and bring to the forefront that we have such a great need. That need is really constant."
The Bay Area is an area that doesn't see as much blood donations as other areas.
As a vacation destination, often people don't come to the Bay Area to donate blood.
This issue is exacerbated in the summer months when the Red Cross already struggles to get donations.
Schools are a large part of their donation supply and they are not in session for the summer.
The 49ers know they cannot fully fix this issue, but they always will do their part.
"In sports, we often feel like we can provide people with entertainment and joy," Gordon said. "We're not doctors, we're not the military and we're not saving lives everyday. This is an opportunity for us to participate like that."
Gordon says they are looking for an opportunity to set-up a fan driven blood drive so the 49ers Faithful can help the team build a better community as well.
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For now, the Red Cross will continue to need the help of anyone who wants to make a difference.
"We're really calling all donors to come out and go to RedCrossBlood.org," Mueller said. "Make an appointment, check your availability and come on down. Through the end of the month we will be giving away a $5 Amazon gift card as a way to say thanks."
For more information on the Red Cross, visit their website here.