Red Cross Blood Donation Center Closing in Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Blood donors in our area now have one less place to give.

Friday was the last day of operation at the Red Cross blood donation center in Kanawha City.

Red Cross spokesperson Cheryl Gergely says they're facing tough business decisions like everyone else, and shutting down their Charleston center will reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Some regular donors in the Kanawha Valley are feeling let down.

Charles Szasz from Elkview says he’s given 70 pints of blood in Charleston during the past 8 years or so.

“This is Charleston, the capital of West Virginia,” Szasz said. “For it to not have an active Red Cross blood donor station is just unthinkable."

"I just like the feeling of helping someone, maybe helping save someone's life," Mildred Bullard from Big Chimney said. "I'll miss not being here."

No workers are losing their jobs because of the closing, Gergely says. The employees at the Charleston center are based out of Huntington and Parkersburg.

However, Friday the Red Cross did layoff 45 employees across the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, which serves 100 counties in six states, including West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.

Now donors will have to find blood drives in the area to attend.

According to the Red Cross 80 percent of their blood donations are collected at those blood drives, which are held at places like churches, schools and businesses.

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