PEKIN, Ill. (December 6, 2011) – The American Red Cross is encouraging Pekin residents to think outside the box this holiday season and give the perfect gift – a potentially lifesaving blood donation. Hospital patients in Illinois and across the country can benefit from those who roll up their sleeves and donate blood at the Fourth Annual Pekin Holiday Blood Drive on Saturday, December 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Avanti’s Dome.
“The Pekin Holiday Blood Drive as become a lifesaving tradition. Over the last three years, hundreds of generous community members have helped boost the blood supply during the busy holiday season,” said Lisa Mott, who is a Pekin resident and coordinator of the blood drive. “Donating blood can save up to three lives and the only cost is about an hour of your time. To a hospital patient in need, time is everything.”
Saturday, December 10, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1414 N. 8th St., Pekin
All presenting blood donors at this special holiday blood drive will receive an American Red Cross ice scraper – perfect for the icy, snowy weather we’re sure to have this winter. Everyone will also be entered into a raffle to win a $50 Wal-Mart gift card, which can be used to pick up those last-minute holiday gifts! And, Santa Claus himself will be in Pekin to roll up his sleeve and give the perfect gift before making his rounds on Christmas Eve.
To show thanks for those who give blood or platelets during the month of December, a financial contribution will be made in their honor to the American Red Cross Gifts that Save the Day program. Gifts to this program provide comfort items such as blankets or emergency shelter for neighbors in need. Learn more at redcross.org/gifts.
The need for blood is constant and doesn’t pause for the holidays. Inclement weather, seasonal illnesses and holiday plans can impact a donor’s availability in the winter, often times reducing blood and platelet supplies for patients in need. Currently, blood products are being distributed to hospitals as quickly as they are coming in. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.
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 permission 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
Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.