Red Cross hosting longest one-day blood drive to support patients over the holidays
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The American Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region will host its longest one-day Minnesota blood drive on Dec. 23 to boost the blood supply prior to the holidays, when many donors travel to be with family and are busy with holiday activities.
The inaugural 12 Hours of Giving Holiday Blood Drive will be held at the Prom Center, 484 Inwood Ave. North in Oakdale from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 23. All registering donors will not only have the opportunity to give something that means something by giving blood, but will also be treated to free gift wrapping, a commemorative Red Cross T-shirt and gift bag, hourly prize drawings and holiday entertainment and food. Santa will be the first blood donor and will make appearances throughout the day as well. To make an online appointment to give blood, donors can visit redcrossblood.org/12hoursofgiving or call 1-800-RED CROSS. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Blood donations can help people like Kate Ross, who was in a tragic car accident in December 2009 and needed blood to survive. Weary from the exhaustion of being a full-time student and working full-time, Ross fell asleep while driving. She hit a guardrail going 60 mph, which penetrated her calf and thigh. After seven days in the hospital and eight surgeries, her leg was amputated above the knee on Christmas Day.
“I’m so grateful for the people who donated blood. If they hadn’t, I might not be alive today,” said Ross. “Four years after my accident, I am very excited to say that I have become a blood donor myself because I know how important it is to give something that means something – the gift of life.”
The 12 Hours of Giving Holiday Blood Drive comes at a crucial time of year for patients who need blood at the 106 hospitals served by the Red Cross in Minnesota and western Wisconsin, as well as patients across the country.
“By rolling up a sleeve and donating, donors have the opportunity to discover the true meaning of giving this holiday season,” said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region. “Donors are giving hospital patients the chance to spend more holiday seasons with loved ones.”
All blood types are needed. Donors with O negative, A negative and B negative are urged to schedule an appointment to donate blood. Rh negative blood types are always in high demand because they can be transfused to both Rh positive and Rh negative patients. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to patients with any blood type.
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 @RedCrossBloodNC.