LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The American Red Cross and Pleasant Grove Baptist Church invite individuals to donate blood at the 16th Annual Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Blood Drive on Tuesday, August 9, from 2 to 7 p.m. at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, 13800 Aiken Road, in Louisville.
All presenting donors will be entered to win one of five restaurant gift cards with a minimum value of $25, while supplies last, as well as receive special access to purchase discounted tickets to ten Cedar Fair theme parks across the U.S. Cedar Fair will donate $2 from each discounted ticket purchase back to the Red Cross to support its humanitarian mission.
Over the years, the annual Pleasant Grove Baptist Church blood drive has collected roughly 1,200 pints of blood, potentially impacting the lives of nearly 3,600 individuals. According to the Rev. Louis Humes, pastor of Pleasant Grove, the success of these drives has been in large part due to the blood drive coordinating efforts of 84-year old blood donor Russell Gadd.
“He [Russell Gadd] is the whole reason we started hosting blood drives,” said Humes. “He’s incredibly passionate about it, and it’s his passion that excites everyone else to participate, so it just makes perfect sense for us to host a blood drive in his honor.”
Gadd, who also serves as a deacon, head of the usher committee, and a member of the recreational ministry first began coordinating blood drives at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in 2001 as a way to help others, during a brief time when he was unable to give blood himself. An avid blood donor for over 40 years, to date, Gadd has donated up to 12 gallons of lifesaving blood.
“For me, it’s been very rewarding because I know it is helping others,” said Gadd. “One unit of blood can help as many as three patients who need blood.”
This blood drive comes at a time when the Red Cross is issuing an emergency call for donors to give now to help address a significant blood shortage and ensure area patients receive the transfusions they need.
Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are 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 approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.
How to donate blood
Schedule your appointment by calling 1-800-RED CROSS, downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App or visiting redcrossblood.org and using sponsor code: PleasantGroveBaptistLOUKY. Walk-ins are welcome.
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.
Blood donors can now 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, from a home or work computer prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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.