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PORTLAND The Oregon Air National Guard is heading to the Northeast, to help out with Sandy relief efforts, and the Oregon Red Cross is asking regular citizens to help out by donating blood.

Officials with the Oregon National Guard said they were sending 20 soldiers from the 125th Special Tactics Squadron to New York. These guardsmen have experience in disaster aid, including the aftermath of flooding in Vernonia and Hurricane Katrina.

As for the blood shortage, Red Cross officials said there is an especially big need right now for blood and platelets.

They said that Hurricane Sandy forced the cancellation of hundreds of blood drives back east, which has caused a major shortage in the aftermath of the superstorm.

Details: Red Cross blood donations

In addition, AT&T has set up a system where people can donate to the relief effort through the Red Cross, the Salvation Army or American Humane Society by sending a special text message.

More: Text message for Sandy relief

AT&T wireless customers can make a $10 donation by texting to the following non- profit organizations:

  • REDCROSS to 90999 to support the American Red Cross
  • STORM to 80888 to help the Salvation Army
  • HUMANE to 80888 to give to the American Humane Society
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