African-American Affairs Commission Hosts American Red Cross Blood Drive

February 23, 2010
February 19, 2010 - During Black History Month - highlighting crucial role of Diversity

The African-American Affairs Commission hosted its first American Red Cross blood drive on February 18th during Black History Month highlighting the crucial role of Diversity in the blood program. The blood drive was held at the State Capitol in Hartford, 210 Capitol Avenue, Room 310 from 9:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. and was co-hosted by Capitol Preparatory High School of Hartford.
“We are very appreciative of the African-American Affairs Commission for hosting their first blood drive with Capitol Preparatory High School at the State Capitol on February 18th and for supporting the American Red Cross as we continue to reach out to all of Connecticut’s communities to both grow and increase the diversity of our blood donor population,” said Paul Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross – Connecticut Blood Services Region. “In order to help ensure the availability of key blood types that are often represented in higher numbers in ethnic communities, building a diverse blood donor population is crucial. When the blood donor population does not mirror the blood recipient population in terms of blood types, shortages of key blood types can occur.”  
“This is the first of many blood drives the African-American Affairs Commission plans to sponsor,” stated Glenn Cassis, Executive Director, African-American Affairs Commission. “We are committed to reaching out to our constituents and encourage the increased participation of Connecticut’s minority communities in support of the American Red Cross lifesaving mission to ensure key blood types are available when needed.”
“Type O is found in about 45% of the Caucasian population. However, type O can be found in approximately 56% of the Hispanic population and in over 50% of the African American population.   Moreover, maintaining a diverse blood supply helps to increase the number of rare blood donors whose specific match may be needed to help save a life.
The American Red Cross holds blood drives in communities across Connecticut. Please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit to find a blood drive near you and to schedule an appointment. The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give Blood.
The American Red Cross, in partnership with Community Health Services (CHS) continues to present “Community Threads,” an arts movement to create community quilts in honor of Black History Month. The community quilts will be on display at the Red Cross in Farmington until the end of February in conjunction with Hartford Stage’s performance of Gee’s Bend.   Gee’s Bend is the true story of African American women who created sophisticated and distinctive quilts in an all black community in rural Alabama and “quilted” their way to economic freedom.
In February, each week from February 1st through February 28th, 2010, all presenting donors have the chance to win “free heat” at a $200 value. Two hundred dollars will be paid directly to the utility provider of the weekly winner. The prizes are not redeemable for cash and are non-transferable. Also, in February, the American Red Cross Connecticut Region is partnering with Ski Sundown. From February 1st to February 28th, all presenting donors will be automatically entered to win one of two Ski Sundown prize packages including a Ski Sundown Season Pass for the remaining 2010 ski season or the 2010-2011season with a $75 discount voucher to Chapin Park Bed and Breakfast, a charming Bed and Breakfast in New Hartford.
About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross has been a primary supplier of lifesaving blood products in the United States for more than 50 years. The American Red Cross Blood Services – Connecticut Region must distribute approximately 650 units of blood each day just to meet the basic needs of area patients. Only five percent of those eligible to donate blood actually do so. To donate blood and platelets through the American Red Cross, individuals must be at least 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and in generally good health. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.  Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

Contact: Elaine St. Peter
Office: 860-284-7001
Cellular: 201-694-1768