Cedar Falls, Iowa (Dec. 6, 2019) — Give something that means something – donate blood and help ensure patients have the blood products they need. The American Red Cross is hosting the Cedar Falls Blood Drive Dec. 30 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, 8201 Dakota St., in Cedar Falls.
The Red Cross is thankful for donors like Karen Schmitt who recently gave her 100th blood donation. Schmitt started donating early in her life and makes a regular commitment to give often. Both her parents gave blood regularly so it was a natural step for her to begin donating.
When Schmitt’s daughter needed a blood transfusion within hours of her birth, Schmitt learned firsthand the power of blood donations. When a very close friend’s son was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a condition that occurs when the body stops producing enough new blood cells, she learned the power of platelet donations. Now she alternates between giving blood and platelet donations frequently.
“The Red Cross has played an important part in my life and I encourage others to consider donating blood to help others,” said Schmitt. “I am forever grateful there was blood available because someone took the time to donate. Spending an hour, a couple of times a year is a simple, painless LIFE CHANGING way for me to give back. And... there are cookies!”
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces a critical need for all blood types, especially types O negative and positive. Blood and platelet donors are urged to give now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this winter. The Red Cross is thanking those who come to give Dec. 19, 2019, through Jan. 5, 2020, with an exclusive long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last. Donors will also be treated to special snacks and refreshments.
A special thanks to KFMW Rock 108, KPTY 107.3 The Party and the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center for helping to promote this lifesaving event.
Since the inception of the Cedar Falls Holiday Blood Drive, area donors have provided more than 1,045 lifesaving donations. This year’s blood drive anticipates collecting nearly 50 donations to help hospital patients in need.
“The Red Cross is grateful to the Cedar Falls community for supporting patients by donating lifesaving blood,” said Judi Faas, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross Blood Services Region. “Year after year generous donors roll up a sleeve during this busy holiday season and give the gift of life. Their efforts are very much appreciated.”
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.
Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urgently needed to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter.
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. 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.
How to Donate
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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.