Red Cross Announces Expansion into Watsonville

November 1, 2012

The American Red Cross is moving to Watsonville as it looks to further develop its presence in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

The Northern California Blood Services Region recently signed a lease on a 2,400-square-foot business space located at 125 Hangar Way. The new location will not serve as a blood donation center, but rather a staging site and base of operations for mobile blood drives throughout the surrounding area.

“This staging site will give us the ability to hold longer blood drives and reach areas we couldn’t in the past,” Northern California Region CEO Jeff Meyer said. “We have an established donor base in the area, but by extending our hours and expanding to locations where we have not previously had a presence, we can make it even more convenient for those donors to give blood.”

The Red Cross hired and trained eight employees who will staff the mobile unit. The first mobile blood drive based out of the new facility was held Oct. 31 at UC Santa Cruz, where 45 units of blood were collected.

The Red Cross has been collecting blood in the area since the 1950s and has built a dedicated donor base over the years. In the past decade alone, the Red Cross has collected more than 41,000 units of blood in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

“It has truly been a pleasure to work with and get to know the sponsors, blood donors and volunteers over the years,” Red Cross Account Manager Patti Childress said. “We are facing some exciting opportunities for more growth. I’m certain that the generous spirit of the people [in the area] will lead to continued support of the constant need for blood.”

Mobile blood drives are hosted by a number of different organizations – including healthcare facilities, high schools and colleges, churches, civic groups and local businesses. The Red Cross is actively seeking new blood drive sponsors in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Interested organizations should contact Patti Childress at 408-687-3515 or

In addition to holding blood drives in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, the Northern California Blood Services Region operates five blood donation centers (Oakland, Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, Newark and San Jose) and holds regular blood drives as far north as Contra Costa County.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. To find a blood drive opportunity in the area or to schedule an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). You can also make an appointment online.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at