American Red Cross and the Peoria Zoo to host summer blood drives

June 19, 2013

PEORIA, Ill. (June 19, 2013) – Lifesaving blood donations in the summer tend to decline as eligible donors become busy with vacations, parties and other events. To help ensure hospital patients in Central Illinois have the blood products they need, the American Red Cross and the Peoria Zoo are offering area residents the opportunity to donate blood on June 29 or June 30 while also enjoying a fun day at the zoo.

All presenting donors will receive half price admission to the Peoria Zoo for a family of up to four (two adults and two children).  The coupon is good from June 29 through July 3, 2013.  Free activities will be available for children of those giving blood. 

“As people pack the Peoria Zoo this summer, it’s important to remember that patients don’t get to take a summer holiday from needing blood,” said Shelly Heiden, CEO of the Heart of America Blood Services Region. “We’re proud to partner with the zoo this summer to remind eligible donors that the need for blood is constant.”

Peoria Zoo Blood Drives

Saturday, June 29 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sunday, June 30 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Peoria Zoo

2218 N. Prospect Rd., in Peoria

Walk-ins are welcome, but eligible donors are encouraged to call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit to make a donation appointment.

Historically, during the summer months of June, July and August, about two fewer donors give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need. But, this seasonal challenge can be overcome two generous donors at a time, at every blood drive, every day. Individuals can visit to make an appointment to donate and share their donation story.

Blood and platelets can be used for trauma victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies – when there are complications during childbirth – and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease.

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.