IOWA (Dec. 21, 2020) — This January, the American Red Cross, Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), and the Iowa chapter of C.O.P.S are joining forces to boost the blood supply and help save lives through a series of Blue Blood Drives.
C.O.P.S. provides resources to help families and co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty cope with the sacrifices of their loved ones. This partnership provides members a meaningful way to support the community by hosting blood drives across the nation and raising awareness about the constant need for blood.
Eligible donors are invited to make a difference through this special partnership by giving blood at various locations throughout Iowa. These locations include:
- 1/4/2021 First Congregational Church, Charles City, from 1 to 6 p.m.
- 1/4/2021 American Legion Post 735, in Cedar Rapids, from noon to 5 p.m.
- 1/5/2021 Memorial Hall, in Farley, from 1 to 6 p.m.
- 1/5/2021 Messiah Lutheran Church, in Janesville, from 1 to 5:30 p.m.
- 1/6/2021 First Congregational Church, in Charles City, from noon to 5 p.m.
- 1/6/2021 MiEnergy Cooperative, in Cresco, from 11a.m.to 3 p.m.
- 1/7/2021 Municipal Hall, in Fredricksburg, from 2 to 6 p.m.
- 1/7/2021 St. Peter Lutheran Church, in Garnavillo, from 1 to 6 p.m.
- 1/8/2021 Best Western Plus, in Davenport, from 1 to 5:30 p.m.
January is National Blood Donor Month, a time that can be challenging to collect enough blood for patients in need. Severe winter weather and seasonal illnesses can often prevent regular donors from being able to give. The traditional decline in blood donations during the winter months come as the blood supply already faces challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. Required medical treatments and emergencies don’t pause for a widespread coronavirus outbreak.
“The Iowa chapter of C.O.P.S is happy to partner with the Red Cross to help keep the blood supply stable during the winter months,” said, Lieutenant Brent Kock, Patrol Division, West Des Moines Police Department.
Jan. 9 has been dedicated as National Law Enforcement Day. “The Red Cross is honored to work together with organizations that provides such hope and comfort to thousands of family members and friends of fallen law enforcement heroes,” said Shannon Montgomery, donor recruitment, district manager, for the Red Cross Biomedical Services. “We are grateful for the support of the Iowa chapter of C.O.P.S. to ensure trauma patients, those battling cancer, burn victims and transplant recipients never have to go without the blood and blood products they need for treatment.”
For questions on the Iowa chapter for C.O.P.S., please contact Lieutenant Brent Kock at 515-222-3357.
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
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 help protect 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, 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% 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.
Concerns of Police Survivors is a nationwide not-for-profit organization that has held the mission of rebuilding shattered lives for 35 years. With 55 chapters across the country, members of C.O.P.S. are always prepared to help survivors when they need it, where they need it. C.O.P.S. has a national membership comprised of more than 48,000 families who have identified themselves as survivors. Unfortunately, that membership continues to grow as an average of 140-160 officers die each year in the line of duty.