Add a chapter to someone’s summer story by giving blood

July 2, 2013

PEORIA, Ill. (July 1, 2013) — The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to add another chapter to someone’s summer story by giving blood or platelets around the Independence Day holiday, when donations historically drop.

Every patient who needs a blood transfusion has a story — a chronic illness, a life-altering trauma, a moment they won’t forget. These stories all have something in common: the caring blood donors who helped them get to the next chapter of their lives.

“Blood and platelet donors can be the heroes and heroines in someone’s story this summer,” said Shelly Heiden, CEO of the Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Their donations can give hospital patients another fireworks display, another baseball game, another Independence Day barbecue.”

The Red Cross Summer of Stories campaign seeks at least two more donors — above what’s expected — at every Red Cross blood drive through Sept. 9. Donors of all blood types, especially O negative, A negative and B negative, are urged to schedule an appointment to donate blood now to help avert a summer shortage. In addition, there is an urgent need for platelet donations, as platelet transfusions are currently outpacing donations.

To encourage more donations, all presenting blood and platelet donors between July 1 and July 15 will be entered to win one of five $3,000 American Express gift cards to help create their own summer of stories. Donors can also visit to share their summer blood donation story and view videos of patients whose lives were saved by donors.

When you give blood or platelets throughout the year, you give patients hope for a lifetime of memories. Live a story. Give a story. Donate blood or platelets. Individuals can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment to donate and share their donation story.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.