By Valencia Jones

COBB COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Town Center at Cobb is a one-stop-shop this week for catching a few sales, grabbing some sweet treats in the food court and donating blood. The American Red Cross is welcoming donors outside JCPenney.

“I enjoy giving blood because I’m a physician assistant who works in cardiac surgery, and I know first hand how important it is that we have blood available to help save the lives of our patients,” said Jessica Hoover, a Cobb County resident. “I feel super grateful to have such good health  that I’m able to help other people in their time of need.”

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The Red Cross holds several blood drives at the mall each year. “I’m out here because my doctor told me I needed to give blood and save people’s lives,” said Brock Faulkner, another donor.

“Just yesterday, on the first day of the drive, the goal was 40 pints of blood. They ended up collecting 59 pints of blood,” said Shelly Weidner, the director of marketing and business development for Town Center at Cobb.

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Organizers say every pint of blood can save up to three lives, which means Wednesday’s donations at Town Center alone potentially saved 177 lives. “We’re always looking for ways to help our community, and one of those ways is to work with organizations such as the Red Cross,” Weidner said.

However, cold weather and the pandemic have drastically decreased donor turnout at many drives across the country. About 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed in the U.S. every day. Thirty-eight percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, but less than 10% actually do.

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The Town Center blood drive continues through Friday, March 5. If you missed out and would like to give blood through the Red Cross, click here. For the Town Center location, enter sponsor code TCAC.