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Blood Drive Held In Honor Of Overdose Victim

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JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. -

The American Red Cross hosted a blood drive at the Oakdale Mall today. For five hours, volunteers donated blood in memory of the late Matthew Crawford, a former Binghamton resident that died from a fentanyl overdose last year at the age of 27.

Crawford’s mother Ann said she wanted to honor her son by organizing the event.

“He was loving, he would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. So I thought this would be a fantastic way to memorialize him,” said Crawford.

American Red Cross Senior Account Manager Theresa Blank, said she is grateful for Crawford’s decision to give back to the community.

“She’s having a blood drive in his memory, hoping to continue to spread awareness of this terrible epidemic that we have going on and also save lives going forward," said Blank.

Blank said the organization is in need of blood now more due to winter weather and the flu impacting people’s ability to donate and collect blood.The American Red Cross collects 14,000 units of blood across the nation every day to meet the demand in hospitals. Blank said the goal for today’s drive was to obtain 20 pints of blood, enough to save 60 lives.

“When there is a trauma, its the blood on the hospital shelves that responds to that,” said Blank. We don’t have the luxury of rolling up our sleeves and donating for our family at that moment. We have to count on the hospitals to take care of traumas.”

As Crawford’s memory continues to save future lives, the American Red Cross holds six to seven blood drives daily in the Binghamton area alone. To donate or find a location, please visit their website or download the free American Red Cross Blood Donor app.