LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 10, 2018) — The American Red Cross invites individuals of all blood types to be a hero and give blood at the Holiday Hero Blood Drive July 10 -12, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Churchill Downs, 700 Central Ave., Millionaires Row, in Louisville. Those coming to the blood drive may enter the parking lot through the main gate. All presenting donors will receive a free chicken dinner courtesy of Stoker’s Broaster Chicken and one free ticket to King’s Island or other Cedar Fair locations,* while supplies last. (*Offers and items are non-transferable and are not redeemable for cash.)
The Holiday Hero 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.
“Donating blood is a compassionate and lifesaving gift – and it fills a critical need in our community,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “I encourage everyone who is able to donate.”
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 Garry Allison, director of donor recruitment, American Red Cross River Valley Blood Services Region. “Blood donations of all types are needed and acquiring new donors helps to keep the blood supply at stable levels.”
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, sponsor code: Hero 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.