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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – LifeSouth Community Blood Center’s supply has been depleted since the COVID-19 pandemic started, but after Hurricane Sally devastated the gulf, LifeSouth’s situation has gotten more urgent.

25 percent of LifeSouth’s blood donations comes from schools. With the pandemic, blood donations have been dismal.

“When you talk about that quarter of our donations being impacted right now because of COVID, that’s huge,” Lifesouth District Community Development Coordinator Kami May said.

North Alabama was already at the point of emergency need; then Hurricane Sally hit.

“Our Mobile center closed yesterday and our Dothan center is closing today,” she said. “That’s two out of our four regions that are affected, so it’s going to take North Alabama and Central Alabama to come together to make sure we can meet that need for our southern partners.”

With schools being off-limits for now, LifeSouth is turning to another partner to fill the emergency need: small businesses like Terrame in Huntsville.

“It was very impacting for us to know that we could make a difference and how important it is to allow them to be on our site at our business and truly was shocked that there was such a shortage and that people may not be able to get blood that they need during , to me, a horrible time that we’ve been in,” Terrame Owner Charla Johnson said.

Johnson echoed that 2020 has been tough for everyone. Now with a hurricane devastating the gulf, she’s promoting a united front.

“Right now in a world that is so disconnected, what greater opportunity to help our community and give back and hopefully save a life,” she said.

Johnson challenges other businesses in the area to promote hosting LifeSouth buses until the business can get their supply under control.

“They just pulled in, needed a couple of parking places, we advertised it, it was actually effortless on our part as a business but a huge impact to help the community. It just takes a little to make a huge difference,” Johnson said.