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Hundreds turn out downtown to give blood, meet Hawks legends

WSB Atlanta logo WSB Atlanta 9/26/2021 WSBTV.com News Staff

Getting people to turn out and donate blood on a beautiful Sunday morning is a challenge for the Red Cross or any other organization.

Which is why the American Red Cross and the International “We Love U Foundation” brought out some Atlanta Hawks legends to help spike the turnout.

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An early arrival was the “Human Highlight Film” himself, Dominique Wilkins. Channel 2 Action News reporter Steve Gehlbach spoke to the NBA Hall of Famer who said he wanted to be there to support the organizations and try garnering support for a crucial need.

“I’m trying to encourage people to get out here and it’s important to be supportive in the community,” Wilkins said. “And to give blood. I’m glad to be a part of the We Love U Foundation”.

Later on Sunday, former Hawks center Dikembe Mutombo was expected to appear.

More than 400 people signed up for the blood drive which was held at the Georgia World Congress Center. Brian Mills was one of those who felt it important to come out and donate.

“We love the Love U Foundation, it’s just great support to them and it’s something good to do,” Mills said.

David Hall told Gehlbach why he’s so willing to give.

“I think that eventually I might be in a situation where I might need someone’s blood, so only fair that I also give blood if I expect to get it back later (and it didn’t hurt?). It doesn’t really hurt at all, no,” Hall said.

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COVID-19 put a severe strain on the blood supply here in metro Atlanta and around the country. The Red Cross said more than 50,000 blood drives had been cancelled nationally since the start of the pandemic. Many of the offices and schools where people would usually donate at moved to working from home.

The Red Cross keeps an updated list of when and where you can donate. That information can be found on their website, redcrossblood.org.

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