BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (May 21, 2020) — Join the American Red Cross as they partner with the Pantagraph to host the 21st annual Friends and Family Blood Drive Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 10 from noon to 6 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, 201 Broadway Ave., in Normal.
It is with help of a very committed Red Cross staff and generous board of directors serving Central Illinois that this blood drive collects over 100 lifesaving blood donations.
During the summer, the Red Cross typically experiences a drastic decline in new donors and current donors often delay giving due to warm-weather activities and vacation plans, but the need for blood remains constant.
The Red Cross has been serving the Bloomington community for over 100 years. “We are so grateful for the support of the community and for those who roll up a sleeve June 9-10 to help give the gift of life,” said Lynda Hruska, regional executive, for the American Red Cross Illinois Region. “There’s no better way to start the summer than by helping the Red Cross maintain a sufficient blood supply.”
All presenting blood donors will receive a Red Cross “We Are All In This Together” facemask and $5 in Moe Bucks from Moe’s Southwest Grill, while supplies last. Donors who come to give blood June 1-30, will also receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card, via email. Restrictions apply, see amazon.com/gc-legal. Terms and conditions apply; visit rcblood.org/together.
“Volunteer donors are the unsung heroes for patients in need of lifesaving blood transfusions,” said Ellen Mickels, donor recruitment district manager for the Red Cross Illinois Blood Services Region. “If you are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give, please schedule an appointment to give now. You just never know when you or a loved one will be the one in need. I urge anyone who is able to donate to take an hour out of their day and give back.”
This drive comes as the Red Cross encourages healthy individuals to schedule and keep blood donation appointments in the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply for patients throughout this coronavirus pandemic. All donors are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of the community. As experts have emphasized, there is no certain end date in this fight against coronavirus, and the Red Cross needs the help of blood donors to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of Red Cross donors, employees and volunteers.
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect nearly 13,000 blood and more than 2,600 platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.
Blood donors of all types are needed. There is no substitute for donated blood products.
Those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.
From disaster response, health and safety classes, to blood collection and support of military members and their families, the Red Cross will continue to serve the needs of the community.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.