CHARLOTTE -- Leaders at the Community Blood Center are trying to drum up more support for blood donations. The organization serves more than 20 area hospitals.
This month they hope to increase the number of blood donations especially in the African-American community.
"We know we have a wonderful warm African-American community in this region and just bringing that information to them and making them aware of how much impact they can have," said Theresa Cochalka with Community Blood Center of the Carolinas.
September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month.
"80,000 people have Sickle Cell and of that 80,000, 98 percent of that number are African Americans. Only one percent donate blood," said Sherri Glenn with Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. "You have a lot of people who just don't know the importance of blood donation and then when you pinpoint it to why it's important for that minority to donate to that other minority, it's just a part of that education piece."
Leaders said minority donations are critical to the success of helping sickle cell patients.
"You want that minority blood match so that there blood transfusion will not be rejected," said Glenn.
The group is spending more time in the African-American community to educate them about the importance of donating and getting them over the fear of giving blood.
"It doesn't hurt. It's a little bit of a stick and it's certainly the most priceless gift you can give to anyone," said Cochalka.