Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood to address anything from surgery to traumatic injuries, and cancer treatments. That’s something even COVID-19 could not change.

“The need does not go away, the need is constant,” said Brad Howort, with the Red Cross/ “Just because we’re in a pandemic doesn’t mean we can say ‘it’s okay’ and stop collecting”

A year now into the pandemic, implementing new protocol has been crucial for the red cross to continue donations. Safety starts at the door with a temperature check to make sure you’re healthy before giving blood.

“We are constantly sanitizing, wiping down every surface a body touches,” Howort said.

He says more than a quarter of its donations typically come from drives at high schools and colleges, but the buildings have been closed. While certainly helpful, he says the blood received by donors at the University Mall Friday won’t last long.

“It will be gone in the next 3-5 days, so its always a challenge to keep it stocked, to keep our shelves full.”

The one pint of blood donated can save up to three lives. Because Vermont is a small state, most of the blood stays in the Green mountain state meaning it really is Vermonters helping Vermonters.

“It could be your neighbor, your family, your friends, or it could be you,” Howort said.