PEORIA, Ill (Dec.16, 2020) – Peoria’s WEEK-TV 25 News, HOI-ABC, and B104 Radio Bloomington are partnering with the American Red Cross to ensure patients have the blood products they need this holiday season. The holiday blood drive is Wednesday, Dec. 30, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn & Suites, 3202 E. Empire St., in Bloomington and at the Holiday Inn and Suites,101 Holiday St., in East Peoria.
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces an essential need for blood products and a critical need for convalescent plasma. Appointments are strongly encouraged to abide with social distancing guidelines.
The traditional slump in blood donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s comes as the blood supply already faces challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic. Required medical treatments and emergencies don’t pause for the holidays or a widespread coronavirus outbreak. Blood, platelet and plasma donors are urged to give now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients.
The Bloomington Holiday Blood Drive started 21 years ago with the Red Cross board of directors, staff and local media partners. Since its inception, the blood drive has successfully collected over 2,100 lifesaving donations. The Red Cross is thanking those who come to give Dec. 18, 2020, through Jan. 4, 2021, with an exclusive long-sleeved T-shirt, compliments of The Vein Specialists, while supplies last. All who come to donate at the Bloomington Holiday Inn and Suites will also receive $5 in Moe Bucks from Moe's Southwest Grill, while supplies last.
Over the past 15 years, the East Peoria Blood Drive sponsored by WEEK-TV 25 News and HOI-ABC has collected over 1,500 blood donations. This year the East Peoria Community High School will be joining as sponsors for the drive which is anticipated to collect even more lifesaving donations for local patients. The Red Cross is thanking those who come to give Dec. 18, 2020, through Jan. 4, 2021, with an exclusive long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last.
“We are very excited about working with WEEK-TV New 25, HOI-ABC and B104 Radio Bloomington again this season,” said Lyn Hruska, executive director for the Red Cross Illinois Region. “We know how important it is to keep blood inventory levels up and the best way for us to help is by partnering with the community to host these blood drives. We are inviting everyone to make giving blood one of their gifts to others this year.”
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.
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, schedule online, call 1-800-RED CROSS 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, 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.