Central Plains Region Hosts Bleedup 2.0

April 18, 2011

News Release

Media Contact: Jennifer L. Keller - (316) 268-0853 / Cell: (316) 558-2428
E-Contact Info: kellerje@usa.redcross.org / http://twitter.com/#!/jenniferlkeller         
Websites: www.redcrossblood.org

Wichita, Kansas – April 18, 2011 – If you are not one of the 10-15 million active users on Twitter, you’ve probably never heard of a tweetup – a gathering where people meet in person to hang out, ask questions about social media and even live tweet.

This week, the American Red Cross Blood Services – Central Plains Region is adding a new twist to the traditional tweetup. The organization is hosting Bleedup 2.0 this Friday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Wichita Blood Donor Center, 707 N. Main. Wichita tweeps are invited to meet at Red Cross, donate blood, then socialize and eat cookies in the Refreshment Area.

This will be the second event of its kind for the Central Plains Region, the first Bleedup was held on Feb. 18, 2011 – after severe weather caused the cancelation of several blood drives. The first event brought in 17 donors, with 14 good units collected; this group included seven first-time donors and seven lapsed donors. All of the 17 participants took photos, tweeted, facebooked and blogged about the event – sharing important information about blood donation with people in their networks.

“It was great to see people from our local Twitter community share the excitement of becoming a blood donor for the first time, and then start asking when we could have another Bleedup,” said Jennifer Keller, communications manager. “This demonstrates the power of social media. I hope these events just continue to gain momentum and grow in the future.”

Special Guests:
From Noon to 1 p.m., participants will be joined by Anna Kliewer, age 5, and her mom Jessica Suit. Anna has an IGA deficiency (a type of immune disorder) that causes problems for all of the mucus membranes in her body. She has chronic sinus infections that are antibiotic resistant and she is prone to Pneumonia. During the past three years, Anna has undergone several sinus surgeries, had her tonsils taken out, tubes put in her ears three times, and endured a portacath and PICC line – things a 5-year-old shouldn’t even know about! She is coming to the donor center to thank donors for giving whole blood that keeps her alive.



On a lighter note, Bleedup participants will also be able to meet and get their photo taken with the Red Cross Foursquare Mayor Heather Luciani from Red Cross’ Hospital Services department. Participants will be encouraged to get their Red Cross Foursquare Badge, if they didn’t get it at the last Bleedup, and sign up for Red Cross Racing.

Red Cross invites people in Wichita and the surrounding area to consider donating blood at Friday’s Bleedup. Everyone who is eligible is urged to make an online appointment at: http://bit.ly/bloodappt to give blood in the Wichita Blood Donor Center. Appointments can also be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins are also welcome at the Wichita Blood Donor Center, 707 N. Main.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.


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