Helping Hurricane Harvey victims: Donate blood, platelets & plasma!

MADISON, Ala. - In addition to giving money to organizations helping Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey, there's a way you can help that won't cost you a dime.

Houston's dire need for blood donations has many in the Tennessee Valley willing to roll up their sleeves.

That includes Jordan Summers, who finds himself in the chair at Life South frequently.

“Part of my DNA is to serve, is to help," says Summers.

As a National Guard veteran, he knows the small sacrifice of time can mean a lifetime for someone else.

“I’ve seen the need for blood overseas and for other people," he says.

After seeing the horrific pictures out of Houston, he decided donating blood platelets was the least he could do to help out.

"Hospitals are having issues, they’ve probably lost power so they’re refrigeration probably out, so blood from this area will more than likely will help immensely,” says Summers.

Eric Franchois says Life South needs more people in their chairs like Jordan because in order to donate to a crisis afar, they first have to fulfill their commitment at home.

“We’re now calling out for more donors to help us meet that extra need that we’re helping to fulfill along with the other community blood centers across the country," says Franchois.

After they reach their local quota, they'll send extra pints of blood, plasma and platelets down to the Greater Houston area.

“Between the businesses being damaged, their citizens being displaced because of flooding, their local blood banks aren’t able to meet that need and be able to get out and get the blood they’d normally be able to get," he explains.

Jordan was willing to sacrifice the extra time needed to give platelets, but a whole blood donation, when WHNT News 19's Chris Davis went through the process on Wednesday, took just under 30 minutes.

“With every donation we receive, we can potentially save up to three lives in communities we’re helping out," says Franchois.

Because there's no better way to show unity from hundreds of miles away, than sharing a little part of what flows through us all.

“Civic duty, I guess is the best way to describe it," says Summers. “Those people in need, need help.”

If you'd like to donate blood, you can find locations and times for Life South here and for the American Red Cross here.