PADUCAH, Ky. (June 28, 2018) — For more than 30 years, the people of Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois have turned compassion into action by donating blood and giving hope to patients in need. This year is no exception. Join the American Red Cross, WPSD Local 6, The Paducah Sun, Electric 96.9, WKYQ, Mercy Health and Pizza Inn at the 35th Annual Donor Days
July 11-12, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Robert Cherry Civic Center, 2701 Park Ave. in Paducah, Ky., and from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Marion Masonic Lodge, 703 Robinson Drive in Marion, IL.
All presenting donors will receive a free commemorative T-shirt and pizza from Pizza Inn*, starting at 11 a.m., while supplies last. (*Pizza Inn pizza will be provided at the Paducah Donor Days drive only, while supplies last.)
"Over the past 35 years, we have had an amazing response to this event from the people in McCracken County and surrounding areas,” said Anthony Tinin, donor recruitment manager, American Red Cross Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “The support of our donors and community partners has been great every year. This year, as part of the Missing Types campaign, we’re extending an invite to those who have never donated before or haven’t rolled up a sleeve in a few years to come out and give.”
The 35th Annual Donor Days blood drive comes as the Red Cross is urging individuals to help ensure blood is never missing from hospital shelves through the Missing Types campaign. The goal of Missing Types is to inspire new blood donors and those who haven’t given in a while to give this summer and become a regular blood donor for patients in need and in the years to come.
Right now, there is a critical need and blood donations are being distributed to hospitals as fast as donations are coming in. Donations are urgently needed now to help ensure blood types don’t go missing from hospital shelves.
Donating blood is a simple process and takes about an hour. To help reduce the fear of the unknown for new donors, here are six helpful tips to know before donating blood:
1. Maintain a healthy iron level in your diet.
2. Hydrate – drink an extra 16 oz. of liquid before and after your donation.
3. Have a healthy meal before your donation- avoid foods high in fat just prior to donation.
4. Wear comfortable clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow.
5. Complete your Rapid Pass. redcrossblood.org/RapidPass
6. Remember to bring your ID!
Afraid of needles? You are not alone. Many people share that fear but find that they can still give blood. What most say is that the slight initial pinch pales in comparison to the feeling of accomplishment they get at the end of a successful donation.
“Our volunteers and staff are patient, experienced and professional at coaching new donors through the donation process,” said Tinin. “Blood donations of all types are needed and acquiring new donors helps to keep the blood supply at stable levels.”
The Donor Days blood drive is a long-standing tradition. Over the years, the community has continued to support the annual drive by rolling up a sleeve to give blood for patients in need. In the last 10 years, the drive has collected over 6,485 pints of lifesaving blood.
Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products. Each day, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.
While all blood types are needed, 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.
Those who come to give blood now through Sept. 3 will receive an exclusive Cedar Fair ticket offer that helps support the Red Cross. Donors can go to RedCrossBlood.org/CedarFair to purchase tickets at a discount off the gate admission price. For each ticket purchased through the website, Cedar Fair will donate $2 to the Red Cross to support its humanitarian mission.
Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 3, 2018, and are valid through the 2018 season. (Season dates vary by park.) Restrictions such as blackout dates and other exclusions may apply.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code: PDD or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. Walk-ins are also welcome. 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, from a computer or mobile device. 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.