PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- 6abc and the American Red Cross teamed up Wednesday for the third annual 6abc Philly Blood Drive, collecting more than 100 units of blood in both Philadelphia and South Jersey.
"It was easier than I thought. I was like, 'Wow this is cool,'" said Erika Jenkins, from Germantown.
She decided to step up and donate after seeing our story on Action News about one of the oldest living sickle cell patients in the country.
"So I was like, 'Oh, I didn't know blood helped people with sickle cell or whatever live to be longer or whatever,' so I was like 'Ok, let me do it!'" she said.
The need for blood donations is constant, officials say. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
That amounts to 29,000 units of red blood cells needed every day in the country. For example, one car accident victim needs 100 units of blood.
"Most recently, my grandmother was in the hospital and had several transfusions, so it feels good to be able to give back," said Chris Bater from Audubon, New Jersey.
He donated at the new location for the blood drive in Collingswood, New Jersey.
These donations will help contribute to the 600 units of blood the Red Cross needs to collect every day in our region.
They'll be used quickly, too. Red blood cells will be used within 42 days, and platelets within five days, officials say.
"We're really trying to get as many units of blood on our shelves as we approach the spring and the summertime, where we know the shelves get a little bit bare," said Guy Triano, the regional CEO of the American Red Cross.
Each donor has his or her own reason for taking time out of their day, including 6abc President and General Manager Bernie Prazenica.
"We have a big megaphone at 6abc and Action News, and we try to use it to do some good, and I think it's wonderful to partner with the Red Cross and the community and do something that we know will save lives," said Prazenica.
After Action News put the call out, dozens of you signed up.
"I was watching the news this morning and there was an ad on TV, and I thought, 'Hmm I have time,'" said Lisa Klenk from Gray's Ferry.
The American Red Cross says blood collected at this drive will save lives in greater Philadelphia and beyond.