Palo Alto Weekly Online Edition

Uploaded: Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2001, 10:25 a.m.

Blood center at Stanford overwhelmed with donors

Staff asks many to come back next week when more supplies will be needed

by Bill D'Agostino

Hoping to aid the physical and emotional healing in the wake of the New York City and Washington D.C. airplane attacks, local residents congregated at area blood centers and churches this week.

The Stanford Blood Center in both Palo Alto and Mountain View faced standing-room only crowds all day Tuesday as residents responded to the crises. Due to limited resources, the center's staff told many of them to come back another day, because the center was unable to handle the overflow.

Leslie White, a housewife and mother of two, was one of the over 150 donors who went to the Stanford Blood Center in Palo Alto on Tuesday. White said she felt "helpless" seeing the television images of such large acts of terrorism hitting so close to home.

Going to the center to donate blood "seemed like one small thing I could do," White said.

Tuesday afternoon, blood collected from the Stanford center was being sent to Sacramento Medical Foundation Blood Center. Five hundred units of blood from Sacramento were being sent cross country in a fire truck, to aid hospitals in New York facing critical blood needs.

Area donations are thereby "helping by proxy," according to Michele Gassaway, the center's community and media relations coordinator.

Gassaway said the Stanford center was asking people to call for appointments "to make sure we have an adequate supply if it is needed."

The center's appointment line is (650) 723-7831 or (toll free) (888) 723-7831. The Stanford center operates two donation centers, at 800 Welch Road in Palo Alto (across from Stanford Hospital) and at 515 South Drive, off Grant Road (across from El Camino Hospital) in Mountain View.

Appointments can also be made at the center's Web site:

"Donations made a day from now or a week from now are just as important as ones made today," Gassaway said Tuesday.

An impromptu candle vigil was set up inside Stanford's Memorial Church. The painted images of the angels of Love, Faith, Hope, and Charity sat atop the church and looked down on the worried and huddled believers as they flocked inside.

Nine local Red Cross volunteers trained in mental health aid for disasters were on standby on Tuesday, ready to be called to any of the scenes of destruction. According to Red Cross Public Relations Manager Deepa Arora, many others called, telling her, "this is what I'm trained for -

how can I help?"

"The local response has been tremendous," Arora said.




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