Hurricane Irene: Arizonans donate blood for those in need

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PHOENIX -- The winds whipped, the damage was devastating and the flooding forced people from their homes. Hurricane Irene swept through the Eastern seaboard and left little untouched.

Thousands of miles away in Arizona, some people were so moved by the images they wanted to help. For Kenneth Howe, giving that help was a needle prick away. He was one of many donating blood. "I said, ‘I got enough. I can donate a little extra,’” he explained. “It's not going to hurt me any."

He along with dozens of others showed up to the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Red Cross with their sleeves rolled up, all ready to donate blood.

According to Trudy Thompson-Rice with the Red Cross, Tuesday’s drive couldn't have come at a better time. The blood supply is typically low during the summer months but then you have to factor in Hurricane Irene.

"You take a big storm like Irene and it disrupts the regular blood drives,” she explained. “At least 50 blood drives were canceled this week due to the storm but the blood needs continue regardless."

That’s something Red Cross volunteer Jean Currey knows firsthand, and it’s why she wanted to make sure she donated blood before being deployed to the East Coast to help those in need.

"When I'm there, I don't know what the conditions will be and they always need to have a good blood supply before they need the blood," said the former CPS worker.

The Red Cross is always looking for great volunteers and people willing to donate blood, especially in times of disaster.

To learn more about how you can help, visit RedCrossBlood.org or ArizonaRedCross.org.