American Red Cross and Greater Wichita YMCA host multi-day blood drive

May 8, 2013

Media contact: Cari Merrill, 316-268-0853, @RedCrossBloodCP            

                        Mim McKenzie, 316-264-4066 x5558, Greater Wichita YMCA


American Red Cross and Greater Wichita YMCA host multi-day blood drive

Community encouraged to donate blood and help save lives


WICHITA, Kan. (May 7, 2013) — The American Red Cross Central Plains Blood Services Region and the Greater Wichita YMCA will host eight area blood drives in May and June with a goal of collecting more than 800 pints of blood. Because each pint of blood could help up to three patients, more than 2,400 lives could be impacted. This is the largest partnership in the history of the Central Plains Blood Services Region.


Summer is just around the corner, and blood donations often decline when schools are out of session and regular donors are on vacation. As much as 20 percent of Red Cross blood donations are collected at high schools and colleges during the school year, but donations at these blood drives drop by more than 80 percent during the summer.


For all eight of the blood drives, presenting donors will receive a T-shirt, while supplies last. For the blood drives scheduled May 28 and May 31, presenting donors will be offered the chance to enter to win one of five $1,000 American Express gift cards.


The series of blood drives is part of the Greater Wichita YMCA’s Vision 2020 initiative, aimed at making the greater Wichita area one of the nation’s leading regions for healthy lifestyles, strong kids, and caring communities. One of the program’s goals is to mobilize Y participants to contribute one million hours of community service by 2020.


“This is a fantastic partnership for our community,” said Terri Dunaway, Central Plains Blood Services Region CEO. “Under normal circumstances, approximately every two seconds someone in America needs a blood transfusion so the need is constant.”


Tips for a successful donation:

  • Prior to the donation: Eat iron-rich foods, drink an extra 16 ounces of water or nonalcoholic fluids, and bring a form of identification.
  • During the donation: Wear clothing with sleeves that can be raised above the elbow, let the person taking your blood know if you have a preferred arm, and take the time to enjoy a snack and a drink in the refreshment area immediately after donating.
  • After the donation:  Do not do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the rest of the day, drink an extra four, eight-ounce glasses of liquids, and avoid alcohol for the next 24 hours.


Only about 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood and just a fraction of those eligible actually donate (8 percent).


Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

All times are from noon to 6 p.m.

May 10 at the Robert D. Love Downtown YMCA, 402 N. MarketMay 13 at the North YMCA, 3330 N. Woodlawn

May 14 at the Northwest YMCA, 13838 W. 21st St. N.

May 22 at the Richard A. DeVore South YMCA, 3405 S. Meridian Ave.

May 28 at the East YMCA, 9333 E. Douglas Ave.

May 31 at the West YMCA, 6940 Newell St.

June 2 at the Andover YMCA, 1115 E. U.S. Hwy 54

June 6 at the Eldorado YMCA, 300 N. Main St.


How to donate blood

Appointments for making a blood donation during “The Big Drop” can be scheduled by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting and entering sponsor code “YMCA KS.” All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or a driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weight 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.


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 or join our blog at


About the Greater Wichita YMCA

The Greater Wichita YMCA is a non-profit organization that serves more than 270,000 kids and adults through child care, camping, urban outreach programs and healthy lifestyle activities. Nearly two out of three kids in Sedgwick and Butler Counties participate in YMCA activities and more than 70,000 participants receive free and assisted programs. Within the YMCA’s financial capabilities, no person is refused program or membership privileges because of inability to pay.