The American Red Cross is partnering with the city of South Fulton and the Office of the Chaplain to hold a citywide blood drive aimed at raising awareness for the urgent need for blood.

The drive is also held to encourage minority and faith-based communities to give now in honor of Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September. The Office of the Chaplain’s Citywide Blood Drive is scheduled for September 27 from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Welcome All Park, located on 4255 Will Lee Road in South Fulton. The Citywide Blood Drive is a collaborative effort between the city of South Fulton’s Office of the Chaplain and The American Red Cross.

City Chaplain Pastor Warren Henry emphasized the need for donors to come forward to help save lives. “It is vital that the blood supply for the Red Cross reflect the diversity of our population to best meet the needs of all,” said Henry.“Whether African-American, Asian-American, Native-American, Latino or one of the many ethnic populations that make up the rich mosaic of not only the city of South Fulton but also our country. Being the month of September is Sickle Cell Awareness month, the city of South Fulton is championing this cause. Your donation matters and we are counting on your support.”

In honor of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month, the Red Cross encourages eligible donors and community organizations to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply by giving blood or by hosting a blood drive. Sickle cell anemia is the most common form of sickle cell disease -a serious disorder in which the body makes abnormal crescent shaped red blood cells.

Blood transfusions from donors of the same ethnic background can reduce the risk of complications and help alleviate some symptoms of severe sickle cell disease. “Every blood donation is important and maintaining a diverse blood supply is a priority to the Red Cross because of its importance to patients. That’s why we thank the City of South Fulton and City Chaplain for hosting this blood drive,” said Ronnika A. McFall, external communications manager of the Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region.

“Minority organizations and diverse blood donors may have the unique ability to help patients with different illnesses or inherited diseases –for example, those with sickle cell anemia –by donating and/or hosting a blood drive.”

The goal for the blood drive is to collect more than 75 pints of blood and each pint collected can save up to three lives. 125 donors are needed to achieve this goal. Make an appointment to donate by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) sponsor code: SOUTHFULTON or contact Pastor Warren Henry at (470)-809-7308.

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