The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to help ensure a sufficient blood supply throughout the holiday season.
A seasonal decline in donations often occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors get busy with family gatherings and travel. However, patients don’t get a holiday vacation from needing lifesaving transfusions. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.
Lorie Alwes remembers her father being called often to give blood – even on holidays. He had type O negative blood, the universal blood type.
“One time it was in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner and off he went without hesitation,” she recalls. “He explained to us kids that his blood was used in emergency situations and could possibly save another life.”
Years later, Alwes learned that she also has type O negative blood. She has since donated whenever needed and has encouraged her 17-year-old son to carry on the lifesaving family tradition that was so important to his grandfather.
Donors with all blood types are needed, and especially those with types O negative, B negative, A negative and AB. All those who come to donate Nov. 25-29 will get a Red Cross mixing spoon and celebrity chef recipe set, while supplies last.
To make an appointment to donate blood, people can download the Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
In Genesee County, there are four upcoming blood donation opportunities:
Monday, Nov. 23 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m., Alexander United Methodist Church, 10540 Main St.
Friday, Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Social Services Building, 5130 E. Main Street Road
Saturday, Nov. 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Batavia City Mall, 106 Main St.
Saturday, Nov. 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Stafford Fire Department, 6153 Main Road, Route 5
How to Donate Blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.