The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood during National Volunteer Month this April. Donating blood is a simple way for those who are short on time to make a life-changing difference.
Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those in need of transfusions. Donors of all blood types are needed to help meet patient needs this spring.
Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All those who come to donate from April 9 to May 13 will be entered to win one of three $1,000 gift cards to a national home improvement retailer, courtesy of Suburban Propane. Restrictions apply. More details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Lets-Do-More.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Kay Whaley knows the impact of blood donations. When she was nine, she was in an accident and received many transfusions. That experience inspired her to become a blood donor.
“It takes about an hour of your time and could save the life of a friend, neighbor or even family member,” said Whaley. “It doesn’t cost you anything and is the greatest gift you could give.”
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer transportation specialist and deliver lifesaving blood products to local area hospitals. Volunteer transportation specialists play a very important role in ensuring an ample blood supply for patients in need by transporting blood and blood products.
For more information and to apply for a volunteer transportation specialist position, visit rdcrss.org/driver.
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, visit RedCross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.