The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors to give now to ensure blood is available for medical treatments and emergencies during the holiday season.
Blood and platelet donations often decline during the holidays. Regular donors are busy with holiday activities, and travel yet donations remain critical for patients like four-year-old Wyatt Monacelli, who is in the midst of intense chemotherapy treatments for leukemia. He has received a number of transfusions since his diagnosis in June and will likely need more.
Blood drives scheduled in the local area include: Saturday, Dec. 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Royal and Charter Oak Rooms, 1425 West H St., Oakdale and Tuesday, Dec. 11, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Christian Reformed Church, 2203 California St., Escalon.
Donors are urged to give now to ensure that families like Wyatt’s don’t have to worry about the availability of blood this winter. In thanks for helping meet the urgent need around the holidays, all those who come to donate blood or platelets now through Dec. 19 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
Make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
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.
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 help keep the blood supply strong is to host a Red Cross blood drive this winter. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Volunteers are also needed to serve as volunteer transportation specialists 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.