MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The American Red Cross announced on Wednesday that it launched an initiative to help fight sickle cell disease. The initiative coincided with September, which is Sickle Cell Awareness Month.

“We are continuing to increase [awareness] because the need is not subsiding, but rather increasing.”

Jason keeling, executive director, WV red cross

Through the campaign, the Red Cross relied on volunteers to donate blood to those with sickle cell disease. Donations were made through blood transfusions.

The Red Cross called on everyone to donate for a few reasons. First, each person’s blood could possess properties that could help the greater community. In addition, despite growing awareness for sickle cell disease and the needs of those who have it, the number of people with the disease continues to grow.

The Red Cross is hosting a number of blood drives in West Virginia through the rest of the month. Click here to find the nearest blood drives.