Local blood drive to help hurricane devastated parts of U.S.

Posted at 7:18 PM, Sep 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-09 20:18:45-04

GREENFIELD, WI - Texas officials are looking to Southeast Wisconsin for blood. 

This after all local blood drives in Houston and Southeastern Texas were canceled due to Hurricane Harvey and flooding. An estimated 24 hospitals in the Houston area have reached out asking for help. 

“If we don’t do this then we can’t help them," Stephanie Gales said. 

"Every little bit that I can do I'll do it," Gales continued. 

Stephanie Gales lives in Milwaukee, but she has Florida roots. Not only did she once live in the state, but she has friends and family there who are focused only on survival as Hurricane Irma approaches. 

“This is pretty strong," Gales said. 

"It’s a really bad hurricane so I don’t know that anybody’s safe that stays there," she continued. 

Hurricane Irma's strong winds and heavy rain has already had its way with the Florida Keys and the category 3 storm is expected to push toward the rest of the state causing devastation similar to what the state of Texas is still trying to recover from in wake of Hurricane Harvey. 

"It is very crucial at this point and time [to give blood]," Alicia Smokowicz said. 

“Texas has been calling out, reaching out for help because they had to shut down a lot of their blood donations," Smokowicz continued. 

The need in Texas shifts the focus of the fourth annual blood drive organized by Smokowicz and the Greenfield Citizen Police Academy in partnership with the Blood Center of Wisconsin. Typically the blood is used to meet a more local need, but this year it’s headed south to help Houston and other hurricane affected areas.