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      Liverpool blood donation center extends hours to encourage Central New Yorkers to donate

      Volunteers donating blood at donation center in Liverpool.

      The American Red Cross always has a need for more people to donate blood, but in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the demand has dramatically increased.

      The super storm forced the cancellation of more than 325 blood drives in the Northeast and the red cross expects even more cancellations while impacted areas deal with the storm's aftermath.

      The staff at the blood donation center in Liverpool worked extra hours on Halloween to encourage Central New Yorkers to step up to the plate.

      Joni Harris hasn't been able to donate blood for the past two years after getting shoulder surgery. On Monday, her doctor cleared her and she is thrilled to be able to help people again.

      "It's something that happens in your heart when you know you're doing something for someone else. For me personally, I look at what I have, and I have so much," says Harris.

      The supervisor at the Liverpool Donation Center, Amy Lamica, encourages people who have some more time to spare to also donate platelets.

      "We actually hook you up to a machine to take your platelets out. Platelets are only good for 5 days. Doctors do not like to use 3 day old platelets. They want to transfuse within 72 hours. They're mainly used for cancer patients," says Lamica.

      The donation center is open 7 days a week. All you need is a blood donor card or driver's license. No appointment is necessary.

      Harris says it's no coincidence she was cleared to donate blood the day Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast.

      "Coincidence? No I think it's a god-incidence that I got cleared on Monday. And then they asked for this. I believe I heard it last night for the first time," says Harris.

      The center will be open this weekend from 7am until 2pm.