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Red Cross unveils new bloodmobile

By Linda Looney-Bond

lbond@news-daily.com

The American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region, this week, unveiled its new bloodmobile, to be used throughout metro Atlanta.

The new mobile unit, funded by the Nationwide Insurance Foundation, was unveiled Monday, during the annual Martin Luther King, Jr., march and parade, held in downtown Atlanta, according to April Phillips, communications specialist for the American Red Cross.

"It's going to be used for blood drives throughout the metro-Atlanta area, probably starting later this month, or early February," said Phillips.

"I'm sure you'll be seeing it throughout Clayton County," she said.

Each bloodmobile can collect 12,000 to 18,000 units of blood each year, the Red Cross said in a written statement. One unit of blood has the potential to save up to three lives, according to the agency.

"We are thrilled to receive a new bloodmobile funded by the Nationwide Insurance Foundation," said Randy Edwards, CEO of the Atlanta Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region. "This new bus adds to our ability to supply life-saving blood donations to area patients in need."

According to the American Red Cross, 80 percent of the nation's blood supply comes from donations made at mobile units, including bloodmobiles and organization-sponsored blood drives, not held at fixed sites.

Since 2007, the Nationwide Insurance Foundation has funded four bloodmobiles for partner blood services organizations in Atlanta, Columbus, Ohio, and Raleigh, N.C., according to the Red Cross' written statement.

"Nationwide's corporate citizenship focus is on emergency and basic needs, like blood services," said Terrance Williams, regional vice president for Nationwide's Southern Region, also in a written statement. "We're proud to support the American Red Cross by helping increase its ability to collect blood donations and help save lives," he said.

The American Red Cross co-branded the bloodmobile to recognize the Nationwide Insurance Foundation for its gift. For more information about the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.