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Red Cross, LifeSouth need blood donations of all types
LifeSouth made its blood donation bus available to shoppers at the Oakwood Wal-Mart and Sam's Club Tuesday. A holiday week in the middle of summer often means blood shortages.

With apologies to George Gershwin, it’s summertime, and blood donations are needed.

LifeSouth and the American Red Cross report needing almost all blood types.

Maggie Hollis, supervisor at the Red Cross blood center Tuesday, said the organization has a one-day to two-day supply of blood.

“We need everybody,” Hollis said.

“All of the blood types are in need,” Toni Holmes, district community development coordinator for LifeSouth, said by email, “but the critical needs would be any of the Rh blood types along with platelet/apheresis donors.”

“We want to encourage them to donate all year long,” Holmes said.

LifeSouth had a collections bus at Wal-Mart in Oakwood on Tuesday. Collections were slow — thanks to a downpour of rain in late morning.

Two people had agreed to donate by 2 p.m., and staff members were predicting more in the afternoon.

Hollis noted the blood center, located at 311 Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville near Wild Wings Cafe, is open from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Two donors leaned back in chairs at the LifeSouth bus Tuesday afternoon and said they just thought they ought to donate.

Luke Floyd, drinking juice while giving, said it was his first time to donate.

Floyd, 22, is an Oakwood resident.

He said Wal-Mart employees “said something about” the bus being outside.

“I figured I should do it,” he said, and he explained he wanted to know his blood type also.

“We just always wanted to help,” Carrie Young said. “And this is a real easy way to do it.”

Young, 36, of Gainesville, said she had been a donor in the past. “I haven’t been in awhile,” she said.

She noted that her mother had an accident one time and “received blood in the hospital.”

Young said her son and she were talking “about it on the way into Wal-Mart. He had questions about it, so I said, ‘Let’s do it.’”

Holmes said, “It’s normally difficult to collect in the summertime, as well as at the holidays.” The nonprofit group collects blood 363 days of the year, she said.

The mass shooting in Orlando brought a surge of donations, she said, as people looked for ways they could help.

Before that occurred, LifeSouth had said it had an “emergency need” — a term it uses “sparingly,” she said. It means the organization has less than one day’s supply of a particular need.