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Cities work with Red Cross to help save lives

September 24, 2014
 

For the second consecutive year, the American Red Cross issued a challenge to cities in Oregon: Sponsor a blood drive and help maintain the community blood supply at a time when blood donations tend to decrease.

The 2014 Red Cross City Blood Challenge was held from Aug. 1 through Sept. 11, 2014. Participating cities included Beaverton, Estacada, Happy Valley, Lake Oswego, Milwaukie, Roseburg, Sandy (Police), Sutherlin (Police), Tigard and West Linn. Their blood drives combined to collect 314 pints of blood.

Everyone came out a winner in the friendly competition – especially patients in need of potential lifesaving blood components. However, a handful of the participants earned special distinction for achievements associated with their blood drives.

  • Happy Valley – most presenting blood donors (69 donors)
  • Tigard – most blood collected (59 pints)
  • Sandy (Police) – highest percentage of blood drive goal (111 percent)
  • Sutherlin (Police) – most first-time blood donors (six)

The Red Cross will present Happy Valley and Tigard with trophies in October for bringing in the most blood donors and collecting the most blood during the City Blood Challenge.

With schools out of session and regular donors often on vacation, summer can be a challenging time of year to collect blood.

"We typically see a decline in blood donations during the summer months," said Jared Schultzman, communications manager for the Red Cross. "The City Blood Challenge plays an important role in maintaining an adequate blood supply throughout the year. We thank the cities that participated this year and hope to see the event grow in 2015."

With the help of local businesses, churches, municipalities and civic groups, the Red Cross holds 15 to 20 blood drives every day in the Pacific Northwest Region. The Red Cross is actively searching for new blood drive sponsors in Oregon and Washington. Interested groups should contact the Red Cross online or at (503) 528-5605.

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.

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.

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2014-APL-00890