A holiday tradition of the American Red Cross New York-Penn Blood Services Region kicks off November 1. As a way of saying “thank you” to our dedicated blood donors in the region, the Red Cross will give away a $50 VISA gift card every day throughout the month of November. The card can be used toward a holiday feast or other expenses. All presenting donors who give blood or platelets at a blood donation center or mobile blood drive in the New York-Penn Region during November will be entered in the daily Turkey-A-Day Giveaway.
“Every year, Americans gather at Thanksgiving and reflect on what they are grateful for,” said Red Cross New York-Penn Blood Services Market Manager Shawn O’Hargan. “One of the things we’re grateful for is the 151,000 blood donors in the New York-Penn Blood Services Region who help us fulfill our mission by helping us save lives. This is our way of saying thanks for giving.”
The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to donate blood or platelets this holiday season. Blood and platelet donations decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people get busy with holiday activities. Donors are needed in the weeks leading up to the holidays to help ensure blood is available for patients throughout the holiday season.
The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 units of blood every day to meet the needs of patients throughout the country. In the New York-Penn Region, an estimated 1000 units of blood are collected daily to serve patients in 90 hospitals and transfusion centers in New York and western Pennsylvania.
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 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.