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KSP Collecting Supplies for Storm Victims

From Alex Suckow, Kentucky Public Radio

While the Red Cross and other relief agencies continue to fundraise on behalf of storm victims, Kentucky State Police are collecting supplies to aid in the cleanup and recovery across the Commonwealth. KSP spokesperson Lieutenant David Jude says all 16 KSP posts have been designated as drop off areas where people can donate badly needed supplies.

“What we’ve thought is if we could get each post to be a collection spot for donations for goods that are needed in those communities, then we can work as an agency to get those goods efficiently down to those areas. It’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Jude says they are collecting everything from first aid kits to cleaning supplies; even non-perishable food. Donations will be accepted through Sunday, March 10.

A list of supplies being collected can be seen here.

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In Tornadoes’ Aftermath, Relief and Cleanup Underway

People across Kentucky and southern Indiana have begun the process of cleanup and repair from Friday’s massive tornado outbreak that killed more than 30 people in the two states, injured scores of others and left widespread destruction.

The Red Cross’s Vicki Eichstaedt has been helping coordinate relief efforts in the devastated community of Henryville, Indiana.

“We’re seeing people getting roofing materials and tarps on their roofs, we’re seeing people meet up with one another in the streets, and just supporting each other and taking care of each other and really people helping people, which is just so important,”she said.

The governors of Indiana and Kentucky both toured the damaged areas in their respective states Saturday morning. Kentucky’s Steve Beshear dispatched more than 200 National Guard troops to some of the hardest hit areas, most of them in eastern Kentucky.

Beshear also declared a state of emergency across the commonwealth to make state resources quickly available to local officials.

Eichstaedt says the best way to help tornado victims everywhere is with a cash donation to the Red Cross.

Contributions can be made by texting ‘Red Cross’ to 90999, by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or visiting the Red Cross website.

(Photo of Henryville, Indiana tornado damage by C.E. Branham, News and Tribune)

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Red Cross Begins Job Cuts In Blood Services

The Red Cross says a restructuring of its blood services division won’t have much of a local impact.

The agency announced this week that 400 to 500 jobs will be cut nationwide under the plan. It says a drop in monetary donations and rising costs forced the restructuring.

“Locally the impact of the restructuring has been minimal. Three positions in the River Valley Region were affected by restructuring,” said Katy Maloy,spokeswoman for the Red Cross River Valley Blood Services Region, which includes the Louisville area and parts of Indiana and Illinois.

Maloy says the three jobs are administrative positions, and donors won’t notice any disruptions due to the restructuring.

The Red Cross says eight workers are being laid off in the Greater Alleghenies Region, which serves a portion of eastern Kentucky.

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Winter Weather Affecting Blood Drives

Winter weather has affected blood donations throughout the region.

At the Kentucky Blood Center in Lexington, spokesperson Denise Fields says snowy conditions have already forced the cancellation of numerous blood drives.

“We were planning on today having a certain amount of blood on our shelves and the hospitals know that so they can plan surgeries and things like that. But then when the snow hits and there’s cancellations, then we don’t have enough blood. Then we have to be a little bit more creative and try to do something to get blood donors in here,” she said.

The Kentucky Blood Center supplies blood throughout Central and Eastern Kentucky. Information about donating blood in the Louisville area is here.

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“Donorama” Blood Drive Is This Week

The Louisville-area chapter of the American Red Cross will hold its largest blood drive of the year Tuesday and Wednesday.

The 32nd annual Donorama will be held the Crowne Plaza Hotel from noon until 7:00pm both days.

Spokeperson Katie Mulloy says blood supplies can run low during the holiday season.

“It’s an unpredictable time of year with winter weather and seasonal illness and people’s travel schedules. All of those things can impact a donor’s ability to give. So we created Donorama to keep supplies up for hospital patients,” she said.

Mulloy says Donorama will also include prizes and entertainment.

The Red Cross is hoping to collect 1,500 pints of blood over the two day drive.

It typically takes about an hour to donate a pint of blood. Mulloy says people can make an appointment to give blood at Donorama.

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Red Cross: Please Give Blood During Holiday Season

By Sheila Ash

The American Red Cross says blood supplies typically run low this time of year and is asking people to take time from their busy holiday schedules to donate.

Spokesperson Theresa Kuhlmann says all blood types are needed.

“Especially around the holidays you’ll see that there’ll be a greater need for type O negative and the reason for that is that is that it is the universal blood type. It can be used in all situations and I’m thinking primarily of trauma situations,” she said.

Kuhlmann says to give blood you must be 17 years of age or 16 with parental permission and weigh at least 110 pounds.

Numerous holiday blood drives in Louisville will be held December 1st through the 15th. For more information, click here.

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Red Cross Trying To Boost Blood Supplies

The American Red Cross in Louisville has scheduled a series of blood drives this month to shore up supplies.

Spokesperson Christie Wesley says the summer months are typically slow for donations.

“During the summer regular donors and even people who would consider donating for the first time blood donation doesn’t seem to be the first thought during the summer. People who regularly schedule donations, they’re busy with family, experiencing the warm weather, going on vacation,” she said.

Wesley says all blood types are welcome but there is a special need for RH negative, O negative, B negative types.    

Some Upcoming Donation Opportunities (for more information, call 589-4450):

Friday, July 16, 9am-2pm, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness,
400 E. Gray Streeet

Saturday, July 17, 9am-1pm, Owl Creek Community Association, 10607 Hobbs Station Road

Sunday, July 18, 1-6pm, Governor’s Scholars, Bellarmine University, 2001 Newburg Road

Monday, July 19 10am-2pm, Sullivan College of Technology and Design, 3901 Atkinson Square

Monday, July 19, 4-8pm, Chapel Hill United Church of Christ, 2307 Embassy Lane

Monday, July 19, 408pm, Kenwood Heights Christian Church, 5620 New Cut Road

Tuesday, July 20, Noon-5pm, University of Louisville Speed School, 220 Eastern Parkway

By Andy Freudenburg

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Thousands Remain Without Power In E. Kentucky

Thanks to Ron Smith, Kentucky Public Radio/WEKU, Richmond

Utility crews continue to work to restore power to tens of thousands of eastern Kentucky residents left in the dark by a weekend winter storm.

Heavy snow Saturday brought down numerous tree limbs and power lines in the region.

Four Red Cross shelters have been set up in hard-hit Pike County, where officials say power may not be fully restored until Saturday.

Robin Tackett with the Big Sandy Red Cross chapter says about 180 people have been staying at the shelters.

“It’s really hard to leave your home when its the holiday season, especially with Christmas coming up and you don’t want to spend it in a shelter situation if at all possible,” Tackett said.

“People aren’t wanting to leave their homes because you know all their gifts and things that they bought for Christmas are still at their homes and they’re concerned that if they leave those homes that someone could break in and get those things.”

Officials are also on the lookout for price gouging of supplies and services in the wake of the storm.

At the height of the outages Saturday, more than 100,000 customers were without power in the region.

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Governor's Cup Blood Drive Is Tuesday

From WFPL’s Haley Hart

The American Red Cross will hold the last of the area’s major summer blood drives Tuesday.

The Governor’s Cup Blood Drive will be held from noon until 7pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel on Phillips Lane, which encourages UK and U of L football fans to support their teams through blood donation.

Loni White of the American Red Cross said that the Governer’s Cup Drive is strategically planned to build up the blood supply in a typically slow season.

 “Our two very difficult seasons are summer and winter.  And we assume that during the summer time it has to do with school starting again, it has to do with people being on vacations—there focused more on their leisure activities. That is why we have big blood drives during the summer and winter time,” she said.

For more information about scheduling a donation appointment, click here. To learn more about blood donation, click here.

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Economy Impacting Blood Donations

American Red Cross officials in the Louisville area say the recession has led some employers to cancel blood drives because they have fewer workers available to donate.

Spokesperson Loni White says about three percent of the summer business drives that help supply blood to 56 hospitals in the region have been called off.

“Certainly we can’t wait for a situation that looks like it could get worse to get worse, so we’re just proactively going out there and trying to make sure people understand the importance of donating right now,” White said.

White says some special blood drives are scheduled for next month. Donors in Louisville can also visit Red Cross centers on North Hubbards Lane and on East Chestnut Street.