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Volunteers are a 'crucial' part of the American Red Cross

The annual American Red Cross Blood Drive at six locations across Maine is one week away. There are locations in Brewer, Portland, Lewiston, Rockland, and Waterville

BANGOR, Maine — The American Red Cross took to social media on Tuesday, saying 2,700 blood drives across the country have been canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

In Maine, The American Red Cross is still holding its blood drive next Wednesday at six locations across the state: Brewer, Portland, Lewiston, Rockland, and Waterville.

Red Cross officials are urging all people who are able to go out and give blood.

"I think it can be life-changing for so many people," Andrea Sirois, a volunteer at the American Red Cross in Bangor, said.

Sirois has been giving blood for years and says doing so is part of her childhood memories.

"My dad would come home from work often, but he would be sporting one of those Red Cross bandages so seeing it on a regular basis asking some of those questions.. what is it… what were you doing," she said.

Sirois started volunteering for the American Red Cross when she lived in Arizona, and she continues volunteering here in Maine.

"It’s really helped me with getting some of the professional experiences in careers… but I’ve also just fallen in love with the different causes and helping people," she said.

American Red Cross officials like Caroline King say people like Sirois are crucial.

"The Red Cross can’t do our work without our volunteers. Our volunteers are, everyday doing the work of the Red Cross," Caroline King of the Red Cross said.

Red Cross officials urge that if you are not feeling well, don't donate blood.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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