Posted by Steve Lettau on Nov 30, 2021

Conley Publishing Group

OZAUKEE COUNTY — In 2021, people in Wisconsin and across the country faced great emergency needs as the ongoing pandemic exacerbated the challenges related to severe disasters, blood shortages and global conflict

“Our most vulnerable neighbors are facing unique and pressing struggles when crisis strikes on top of COVID-19,” said Mark Thomas, regional CEO, American Red Cross of Wisconsin. “This holiday season, join us to provide help and hope in these difficult moments by making a financial donation or by giving blood or platelets.”

According to the Red Cross, in 2021, a family displaced by a disaster in the U.S. spent an average of nearly 30 days in a Red Cross-supported emergency shelter. These extended stays were largely due to a lack of savings and community housing shortages — signs that climate-driven disasters are compounding the financial hardships of the pandemic.

In Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan since the beginning of 2021 through last week, local relief teams have helped more than 3,700 people affected by fires, floods and other disasters.

On top of these natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic continued to strain supplies of blood.

To meet the increasing needs of hospital patients, the Red Cross distributed 250,000 more blood products in 2021 than last year, until the delta variant began to spread in August. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year.

The Red Cross is once again issuing a plea to donors for blood to help during what continues to be a difficult year.

Upcoming blood drives in Ozaukee County include: Grafton Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Kapco Metal Stamping, 983 Badger Circle Dec. 9 from noon to 5 p.m., SEEK Careers/Staffing, 1160 Opportunity Drive Mequon Dec. 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., American Legion Post 457, 6050 W. Mequon Road Saukville Dec. 14 from noon to 6 p.m., Saukville Fire Department, 520 W. Dekora St.