CHICAGO (June 7, 2018) — The American Red Cross and the 100 Black Men of Chicago encourage the community to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply by giving blood Saturday, June 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., during the 100 Black Men’s inaugural Health & Wellness Fair at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago. All participants will receive free parking and admission.
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. 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. 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.
“We are committed to promoting blood donation,” said Dr. Charles K. Barron, Jr., co-chairman of the health and wellness committee of 100 Black Men, Inc., and Chief Medical Officer at Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness. “There are many contributing factors that result in the low rates of donation in our communities including: fear, fallacies, eligibility, deferrals, barriers and trust. Diseases such as sickle cell disease are prevalent in our communities. Our families, friends and neighbors would benefit greatly if we could impact the number of minority donors. The 100 Black Men of Chicago is partnering with the Red Cross to provide education, decrease barriers and save lives.”
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.
“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,” said Matt Pitcher, donor recruitment district manager for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “You can help by scheduling an appointment to donate.”
100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc., pairs youth with successful and accomplished African American professionals, offering group mentoring sessions throughout the Greater Chicago area. The group places special emphasis on the value of a great education through a curriculum based mentoring program, an annual college fair, health and wellness programs, financial literacy seminars, etiquette workshops, STEM education, setting goals, and community service event planning. The 100 Black Men of Chicago, Inc.’s mission is to improve the quality of life within African American communities, and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all African American youth.
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), sponsor code: 100BMCHI 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.
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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 us at RedCross.org/il/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.