To help ensure patients have the blood products they need this holiday season, the American Red Cross is hosting the 10th annual Cedar Rapids Holiday Blood Drive on Dec. 19 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Marriott Hotel.
The community is invited to give the perfect gift this holiday season and participate in this long-standing tradition of helping to save patients’ lives. Since the inception of the Cedar Rapids Holiday Blood Drive, area donors have provided more than 700 pints of blood.
Donors like Pam Schneider understand how blood donations can impact a family. “I was only 18 years old when my Father had an aneurysm. He needed 18 pints of blood during surgery,” said Pam. “We all felt so helpless that day and I made a commitment to myself to pay back the blood he needed. It's so easy to do so I try to give often.” Since 1989 Pam has donated 81 pints of blood. “It's quick and relatively painless - we all need to donate, it could save the life of someone you love.”
“Some of the greatest gifts are the ones that are done out of selflessness,” said Judi Faas, account manager for the American Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. “Those who roll up a sleeve to donate a part of themselves truly are giving the perfect gift - a lifesaving gift.”
The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood donations. Many donors are busy with holiday activities, and inclement weather can force the cancellation of blood drives. Additionally, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses, but the need is constant; patients do not get a holiday from needing donated blood.
Those who attempt to help save lives at the 10th annual Cedar Rapids Holiday Blood Drive will receive a Red Cross long-sleeve T-shirt, while supplies last. A special thanks to NRG Radio, Cedar Rapids Associate of Realtors and Marriott for helping to promote this lifesaving event.
Blood donors of all 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.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “CR Community Drive”, 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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. 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.