Donating O postive blood after the tornadoes: ‘We need to do this’
Photo: MARK GOKAVI/Staff
Photo: MARK GOKAVI/Staff

Donating O postive blood after the tornadoes: ‘We need to do this’

Renee Culbertson got a midday Tuesday text from the Community Blood Center asking for O positive blood because its supplies were depleted ahead of Monday night’s tornadoes. That motivated the Miamisburg resident to get to the mobile blood drive at Our Lady of Good Hope church.

“I come anyway normally but I forgot to sign up and when I got that text, it was like a reminder and oh yeah, we need to do this,” said Culbertson, who went to the Third Street church along with her daughter. “That is my blood type so I thought if I could help someone maybe who was affected by the devastation it would be helpful.”

The Community Blood Center (CBC) said it has a “critical need” for O positive blood at the downtown Dayton location or mobile sites listed at givingblood.org.

RELATED: How to help: Critical need for blood in wake of tornadoes, long holiday weekend

“The storms really impacted us from (Monday) night and with us being closed for the holiday, we were already kind of having to make up for that extra blood,” said Mindy Mays, a six-year CBC employee.”So they put out the appeal for our O donors to come in and thankfully, our donor base has responded and they’re coming in.”

Culbertson watched news coverage until 1 a.m. Tuesday and heard about an acquaintance whose house was severely damaged.

“I have been glued to the TV, even today WHIO was on all morning,” she said. “I could not stop watching and thinking of all these people and being grateful that I didn’t have a loss but thinking of all the losses that they are dealing with right now.”

RELATED: One dead, at least 130 injured because of storms in Dayton area

One man died in Celina and at least 50 people were being treated at local hospitals as a result of Monday night’s tornadoes and thunderstorms. The National Weather Service confirmed that EF3 tornadoes hit Montgomery County and Greene County.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has declared states of emergency in areas impacted by the storms.

“I have talked to a lot of donors and they have said that they either got the text message or that they saw it on the news,” Mays said, “and that’s what prompted them to come in and donate with us today.”

Mays said blood donations have been down in part because hemoglobin requirements for men are stricter and hospitals have used a lot this year. She said the CBC will take “any blood type that walks through the door just because we don’t want to be in a situation like we’re in today where we need it and we don’t have it.”

RELATED: How you can help tornado victims

Mays posted a request on her Facebook page.

“You know, some people don’t have the ability to donate the food or water or money to those who hurt, but you can always donate your time and blood,” she said. “It’s something easy and simple that you can come out and do.”

Mays is taking her own advice. When she got the text asking for O positive blood — her type — she had already clocked in: “I decided that (Wednesday) I’m going to come in for my shift a little bit early so I can go ahead and donate.”

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

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