Red Cross urges winter blood donations
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The holidays bring families and friends together to share in celebrations and special times of giving. But for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis or other major illness, the holidays can be difficult.
The American Red Cross Give Something that Means Something winter campaign runs through Jan. 6, 2014, and encourages eligible donors to give something meaningful this holiday season by donating blood or platelets for hospital patients in need.
“Historically, during the winter months of November, December and January, fewer donors make the time to give blood due to competing seasonal activities, celebrations and holiday shopping,” said Michele Wright, CEO of the Red Cross Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region. “By doing something that doesn’t cost a thing, you can give an amazing gift – you can offer hope to a patient in need.”
Blood donations can help patients like Kaleb Faulkner. On Sept. 6, the 16-year-old, newly licensed driver was involved in a car accident just three miles from his house. Due to the accident, Kaleb’s right leg was amputated below the knee. His pelvis was broken, as well as the femur in his right leg. After eight surgeries, nearly 20 pints of blood and a five-week hospital stay, Kaleb is back home recovering and ready to help encourage blood donations by raising awareness.
“We want to do whatever we can, whenever we can, to help others,” his mother, Anna Faulkner, said. “Kaleb received quite a bit of blood, and it helped save his life. We want to make sure blood is there for others who might need it.”
Blood donors are encouraged to invite a loved one to follow in their footsteps and donate blood this holiday season. Visit http://rcblood.org/HolidayPostcard to upload a picture of a Red Cross blood donation and send a postcard to a loved one. For more information or to make an appointment to give blood or platelets, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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.
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 @RedCrossBldGOA.