Red Cross Blood Drive (copy)

An American Red Cross blood drive truck outside of Athens Academy on Friday, Oct. 5, 2014. (File/Staff)

Athens Academy is hosting an American Red Cross blood drive on Wednesday, March 25 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Sinkwich Spartan Center. The drive organizers are calling for all blood types.

“We have another challenge moving beyond COVID-19, and it’s a blood shortage in our community,” said state Rep. Houston Gaines, who’s also an Athens Academy alumnus, in an email to The Red & Black. “During the fight against COVID-19, we’ve heard across the state and nation the desperate need for blood donations.”

There are currently 772 cases of COVID-19 in the state of Georgia and 14 confirmed cases in Clarke County, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health.

“The Red Cross is taking all protective measures — sanitizing, temperature checks, social distancing — to ensure it’s a safe and healthy drive,” Gaines said in the email.

According to Gaines and Kelley Cuneo, director of communications at Athens Academy, the goal is to have at least 60 people to donate to replenish the blood supply.

Athens Academy’s senior class usually hosts three blood drives per year, the most recent in February, Cuneo said. Gaines reached out to the academy to host the drive.

“With everything closing down, there are limited spaces that are big enough — and willing — to open up their doors to host a large blood drive. We were more than happy to help,” Cuneo said in an email to The Red & Black. “We’re excited to be able to help the greater community in a very real and tangible way.”

Donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment to maintain social distancing, though walk-ins are also welcome. To make an appointment, go to redcrossblood.org and use the code ATHENS.

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