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Become an everyday hero during Red Cross Month

North Central

March 3, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn.  — The American Red Cross empowers ordinary people to do extraordinary things. March is Red Cross Month, a great time to celebrate and recognize everyday heroes in the community – those who help their neighbors by giving blood, learning lifesaving skills, volunteering or making a financial contribution to the Red Cross.

Red Cross Month is observed in dedication of people like Don Holz who support the mission of the Red Cross. Holz is a dedicated Red Cross platelet donor who reached his 100-gallon donation milestone in February and will be honored as an everyday hero at his next blood donation appointment on Wed., March 5 at 8:30 a.m. at the St. Paul Blood Donation Center, 176 Robert Street, St. Paul.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I first starting donating blood back in 1975 when a manager at the company I worked for needed blood,” Holz said. “I then became a platelet donor and have been donating platelets on a regular basis since that time.”

Platelets are a key clotting component of blood and are obtained from a donor by a process known as apheresis. In this process, blood is drawn from the donor into an apheresis instrument which separates the blood into its components, retains some of the platelets and returns the remainder of the blood to the donor. Platelets have a shelf-life of only five days, making it vital for eligible donors to donate regularly.

“Volunteering is just something I do,” Holz said. “I live by the motto that it is better to give than to receive, and now that I’m retired I am able to volunteer for several organizations. Donating blood is an easy way to give back, and I would like to encourage others to donate because some of us won’t be able to give forever.”

Holz proves that it doesn’t take a cape, super powers or a secret identity to be a hero. Everyday heroes enable the Red Cross to respond to disasters, both large and small, here and around the world; help members of the military; provide about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and teach lifesaving skills.

The Red Cross invites community members to discover their inner hero this month. To make an appointment to donate blood or for more information about other ways to get involved with the Red Cross, visit 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 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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.