CINCINNATI, Ohio — We are all One Team during the pandemic. That is why the Cincinnati Reds, Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser are stepping up to the plate to score a win for patients by partnering with the American Red Cross to help ensure a stable blood supply. The One Team Blood Drive will take place Wednesday, June 24, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Great American Ball Park Machine Room, 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, with a goal to collect 70 donations. All those who come to give will receive a Red Cross T-shirt and a gift bag of items, while supplies last, free parking and a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.
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 will be able to view their results 7-10 days after donation through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at RedCrossBlood.org.
“This is a time to take care of one another as we all deal with the challenges of a pandemic,” said Phil Castellini, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Cincinnati Reds. “Giving blood is one way we can make a difference right now to help our neighbors. We are proud to partner with the Red Cross to offer Reds fans this opportunity to give back. We truly are One Team during the pandemic, so let’s take care of each other and donate blood.”
This event is part of a national partnership between Anheuser-Busch and the Red Cross to increase blood donations during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure patients can continue to receive the medical treatments they need. Anheuser-Busch, the country's largest sponsor of live sports and entertainment, has redirected sports and entertainment investments to its non-profit partners to respond to the COVID-19 public health crisis. As part of a $5 million donation to the Red Cross, Anheuser-Busch alongside its sports partners, identified available arenas and stadiums to be used for temporary blood drive centers, which includes the Great American Ball Park, home of the Cincinnati Reds. Through this partnership dozens of One Team Red Cross blood drives are being held at sports venues across the country, including in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, St. Louis, Tacoma and others. These events will result in thousands of blood donations for patients.
“Budweiser has been a part of American culture for generations and we wanted to do our part to help the people of America in a time its needed most,” said Monica Rustgi, Vice President of Marketing, Budweiser. “Together with the Red Cross, our partner since 1906, and our many sports partners, we quickly mobilized as one team to extend our resources to support in areas that have been impacted as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, like blood supply.”
The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. The sponsor code for this event is “OneTeam”.
Blood donation is just one of many services offered by the Red Cross which will be highlighted. The Red Cross also offers health and safety training, serves as a vital communication link between military personnel and their families, teaches disaster preparedness, and provides relief to victims of disasters.
“You never know whose life you might help save,” said Stephanie Byrd, Regional Executive for the Red Cross Central & Southern Ohio Region. “Your blood could help someone battling cancer, a father having heart surgery or a premature infant. No matter who receives your blood, you can feel good knowing you’ve helped to make a difference to countless people with one donation.”
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.
About blood donation
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. Locally, follow us on Facebook and Twitter at ARCcsor, and on Instagram @buckeyeredcross.