Give the gift of life this Thanksgiving

November 11, 2013

PEORIA, Ill. (Nov. 11, 2013) – As Thanksgiving approaches, many people reflect on their blessings and look for ways to give back to the community or someone less fortunate. Giving an hour of your time and donating blood could give a patient needing blood the most valuable gift of all – the gift of life. This Thanksgiving, the American Red Cross is encouraging all eligible donors to give back by donating blood. It’s the gift that doesn’t cost a thing and can offer another holiday season to a patient in need.

The Red Cross is thanking presenting donors with a complimentary pie at special blood drives during the week of Thanksgiving. As an added incentive during the Thanksgiving holiday, all presenting donors from Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 will receive a commemorative Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

 “While the need for blood is ongoing, the supply isn’t – especially around the holidays,” said Shelly Heiden, CEO of the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Long holiday weekends pose an extra challenge when many donors are traveling to be with family and friends. Without the generosity of volunteer blood donors, we would not be able to ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need.”

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. The Red Cross is supported in part through generous financial donations from the United Way. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.