EVANSVILLE, Ind. (June 22, 2020) — July is typically a time for barbeques, fireworks, concerts and parades. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, parades and firework shows have been cancelled and many celebrations are turning into virtual events. As hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments, there is also an urgent need for blood donations. That’s why the American Red Cross and 14 News WFIE invite individuals to come together to celebrate life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by giving blood at the Celebrate Freedom Blood Drive Monday, July 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the American Red Cross Southwestern Indiana Chapter, 29 S. Stockwell Road, in Evansville.
All presenting blood donors will receive a special edition Red Cross T-shirt and will be treated to hot dogs and hamburgers, while supplies last. With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing large public observances, the Celebrate Freedom blood drive provides an opportunity for family and friends who are healthy and well to make a blood donation to help seriously ill and critically injured patients, while adhering to social distancing guidelines.
“The community has a unique opportunity during this challenging time to serve our neighbors and honor the spirit of our country,” said Cyndi Dahl, regional donor services executive for the Red Cross River Valley Blood Services Region. “During the summer, especially around holidays like Independence Day, blood donations often don’t keep pace with patient needs. We’re proud to partner with 14 News WFIE in providing a safe and impactful way for the community to support hospital patients by boosting the blood supply and keeping connected.”
The Red Cross is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. Donors who help support the urgent need by giving at this drive will be able to view their results 7-10 days after donation through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at RedCrossBlood.org. (The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test.)
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.
Blood drive safety precautions
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code Freedom 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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.