Red Cross holds blood drives across MA for One Boston Day

BOSTON — Casey Macdonald said the pandemic made it even more important for her to donate blood at the One Boston Day Red Cross Drive in TD Garden.

“I just started giving blood again. I hadn’t in like 20 years, and I started again last April because you felt like there was nothing else you could do and you felt like you were in some way contributing something,” Macdonald said. “This is my seventh since all of this started a year ago, and I really wanted to make a point of doing it today.”

Stephanie Simmons is a nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She regularly gives blood but said there’s special significance on the eighth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings and as the U.S. surpasses 560,000 COVID-19 deaths.

“We have to remember all those who have passed in the Boston Bombing as well as with COVID. My heart goes out to all the families who have lost loved ones,” Simmons said.

>>>MORE: One Boston Day: City leaders encourage people to share acts of kindness

In the first week of March, more than 20% of Red Cross donations from unvaccinated people in more than 40 states reportedly had COVID-19 antibodies. Now, it’s important to note, the presence of antibodies doesn’t confirm infection or immunity, but they have significant value to those in the medical field.

“I work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a nurse and there’s a critical need for blood for COVID patients. And there’s an importance that, if you’ve had COVID, you can donate your antibodies if possible to help those that are sick,” Simmons said.

An estimated 90 people will donate at TD Garden. Keeping donors safe is as important as collecting those life-saving pints of blood.

“Everything is being wiped down between donors; all our computers, our equipment,” said Bob Mansfield, who works in Donor Recruitment with the Red Cross of Massachusetts.

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