BLOOMINGTON/PEORIA, Ill. (May 30, 2018) — The American Red Cross, 25 News WEEK-TV and the 100 Black Men of Central Illinois encourage eligible donors to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply by giving blood Friday, June 22, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the YWCA of McLean County,1201 N. Hershey Road, in Bloomington. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
Blood can also be given Friday, June 22 from 1 to 6 p.m. in the auditorium of the George Washington Carver Center, 710 W. Third St., in Peoria. All presenting donors at this drive will receive a certificate for a free pint of Culver’s Custard, while supplies last. Any student from the George Washington Carver Center Summer Camp that brings someone to donate will receive a free Red Cross blanket as part of the Red Cross Future Blood Donor Program.
Every blood donation is important and maintaining a diverse blood supply is a priority to the Red Cross because of its importance to patients. African-American, Asian-American and Latin-American blood donors may have the unique ability to help patients with unique needs.
Types O and B are often in high demand and are the first to run out during a shortage. The African-American, Asian-American and Latin-American populations carry a high percentage of types O and B blood. Latin-American blood donors are more likely than other Americans to have type O blood and about 70 percent of African Americans have type O or B blood, meaning they have a unique contribution to make.
“Having a safe, ample and robust blood supply ready to meet our region’s needs not only helps save lives, but improves community resiliency,” said Matt Pitcher, donor recruitment district manager for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “You can help by donating blood and ensuring blood is there for anyone who needs it.”
The Red Cross faces serious challenges in its ability to meet the nation’s need for lifesaving blood products. As demand grows, fueled by more aggressive treatments for certain diseases and an aging and changing population, the supply needs to keep pace.
“Without increased donations from the diverse community, there is a growing concern that the blood supply could face a serious imbalance as population shifts bring even more demand for Type O transfusions,” comments Pitcher. “This is a reminder of the importance of a diverse blood supply for hospital patients. Blood from a donor with a similar ethnic background to that of the patient is less likely to be rejected or cause complications or illness.”
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedcCrossBlood.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, 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.