NEWPORT, Ark. (Dec. 28, 2018) — This January, the American Red Cross and Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) are joining forces to boost the blood supply and help save lives through the National Blue Blood Drive. Eligible donors are invited to make a difference through this special partnership by giving blood Jan. 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 217 Main St., Newport. The blood drive is in memory of Lt. Patrick Weatherford, who was killed in the line of duty on June 12, 2017.
C.O.P.S. provides resources to help families and co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty cope with the sacrifices of their loves ones. This partnership provides members a meaningful way to support the community by hosting blood drives across the nation and raising awareness about the constant need for blood.
January is National Blood Donor Month, a time that can be challenging to collect enough blood for patients in need. Severe winter weather and seasonal illnesses can often prevent regular donors from being able to give.
"We chose January to host Blue Blood Drives all across the nation because we knew there was a great need during this time, but also to coordinate with Law Enforcement Appreciation Day which is January 9th of each year, “said C.O.P.S. Director of Public Relations Sara Stone. “It's a time to not only donate blood to those who are suffering, but also to do it in honor of the heroes that sacrifice so much for their communities."
“The Red Cross is honored to work together with an organization that provides such hope and comfort to thousands of family members and friends of fallen law enforcement heroes,” said Donna M. Morrissey, director of national partnerships, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “We are grateful for the support of C.O.P.S. to ensure trauma patients, those battling cancer, burn victims and transplant recipients never have to go without the blood and blood products they need for treatment.”
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 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 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 CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
Concerns of Police Survivors is a nationwide not-for-profit organization that has held the mission of rebuilding shattered lives for 35 years. With 55 chapters across the country, members of C.O.P.S. are always prepared to help survivors when they need it, where they need it. C.O.P.S. has a national membership comprised of more than 48,000 families who have identified themselves as survivors. Unfortunately, that membership continues to grow as an average of 140-160 officers die each year in the line of duty.