The American Red Cross and Discovery are partnering for Shark Week and invite people to dive in to help save lives by giving blood or platelets in July. The Red Cross saw a steep drop in blood and platelet donations last month, and donors are asked to make appointments now to prevent a blood shortage this summer.
In June, the Red Cross collected approximately 12% fewer blood donations than needed – one of the largest monthly blood donation shortfalls in recent years. When less people answer the call to donate, the blood supply shrinks – and that could mean blood products aren’t ready for hospital staff to reach for in emergencies.
Thanks to Discovery, all who come to give blood or platelets in July will automatically be entered for a chance to win an exclusive Shark Week merchandise package that includes:
- Beach bike
- Smokeless portable fire pit
- Paddle board
- $500 gift card to put toward accessories
Those who come to give July 21-24 will get an exclusive Shark Week T-shirt from Discovery, while supplies last. Details are available at rcblood.org/sharkweek.
By making and keeping blood and platelet donation appointments in July, donors can connect with patients through a lifesaving gift. To book a time to give, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Blood drive safety
The Red Cross follows a high standard of safety and infection control. The Red Cross will continue to socially distance wherever possible at blood drives, donation centers and facilities. While donors are no longer required to wear a face mask, individuals may choose to continue to wear a mask for any reason. The Red Cross will also adhere to more stringent face mask requirements per state and/or local guidance, or at the request of blood drive sponsors. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at a drive.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American 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.
Amplify Your Impact − Volunteer!
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.
Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for a either position, contact <insert local contact information> or visit https://www.redcross.org/volunteertoday.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.