The Blood Connection extends collection hours
The Blood Connection, a North Charleston community blood center, is seeing historically low blood donor turnout and has extended its center hours in response to this urgent need.
According to the latest data, local hospitals have consumed twice as much blood as the community has donated. If this trend continues, it could cause a blood rationing event or blood shortage for hospitals in this community. Donation centers are now open earlier and later to accommodate more blood donors.
Unexpected traumas are exacerbating the issue. The Blood Connection was recently alerted by one of its hospital partners that one patient needed more than 150 units in a short amount of time. This is a primary example that magnifies the importance of a stable blood supply and the suddenness of a trauma that can deplete the blood supply.
Those who have received any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines can donate blood immediately. The Blood Connection has also implemented a new COVID-19 antibody screening that will test each donor’s blood to see if it contains the antibodies from the COVID-19 vaccine and/or antibodies from exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Early antibody screening (which started before vaccines were released) only detected a donor’s natural response to the virus through exposure, whereas the new antibody screening will detect both.
Those willing to help and donate blood can visit a donation center in North Charleston, Florence, or find a mobile drive near them. More than 800 blood donations per day are needed to meet the needs of local hospital partners.
For more information and donation locations, go to thebloodconnection.org/csc-blood-drives/.
SC NONPROFIT LEADERS FACE FINANCIAL CHALLENGES
Last September, according to a survey coordinated by Together SC, nearly two-thirds (63%) of nonprofits surveyed indicated they could survive six months or less without additional funding. In March, the percentage of those with the same answer about sustainability has only dropped slightly to 59%.
As the pandemic and its impacts extend into 2021, Together SC, the state’s network of nonprofit organizations, with investors and supporters, aim to give voice to nonprofit businesses and the conditions under which they expect to operate by producing a second survey, conducted by Kahle Strategic Insights. The findings come from nearly 1,000 respondents, including those working in human services; arts, culture, and humanities; education; health; public/social benefit; religion; and environment/animal welfare.
The data strongly suggests that federal financial assistance, like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the state’s CARES Act-funded grant program, helped many nonprofits, but only for a period of time. As 45% of nonprofit respondents that received PPP loans still faced fiscal year operating losses.
Additional key findings revealed by responding nonprofits also included:
• There’s been no change in the percent of those who reported being out of funds, still 5% of respondents.
• Cash, in support of programs and operations, is the single biggest need for these nonprofit organizations as they look to continue to operate through June 30. Specifically, the 927 respondents reported needing $54 million in total to offset lost revenue, meet increased demand, and restructure for a post-pandemic economy.
• Human service organizations have the single biggest cash need for food, housing and assistance with basic human needs; a total of $23 million through June 30.
• Employment within the nonprofit industry in South Carolina has taken a blow. Jobs dropped by 7.5% in the last year, the survey found, right on par with findings from a recent study by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies that looked at nonprofit job losses nationally.
• The surveyed nonprofits expect to add back about 425 jobs by the end of June, which would still leave employment down about 4.1%.
To read the full report and learn more about Together SC, visit togethersc.org.