Help Fill Up the American Red Cross Blood Inventory for a Chance to Fill Your Gas Tank Too

June 22, 2010

ST. PAUL, Minn. (June 22, 2010) – Citing potential shortages of certain blood types before and after the Independence Day holiday weekend, the American Red Cross announces a donor appreciation promotion that includes a chance to win a $500 gas gift card and complimentary Red Cross Racing-themed lip balm.

From June 28 through July 9, all presenting donors at Red Cross blood drives and blood donation centers in the North Central Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross will automatically be entered for a chance to win a $500 gas gift card. All presenting donorswill also receive a complimentary Red Cross Racing-themed lip balm with SPF 15 protection.

"Over the summer, many of our regular donors take vacations or are busy with other summer activities," said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the local Red Cross Blood Services region. "However, the need for blood remains constant, making this a great time for people who have never donated before, or who haven't donated recently, to give it a try."

All blood types are needed to help maintain a sufficient supply for patients in need. Donors with type O negative blood and other Rh negative blood types are especially encouraged to schedule appointments to help boost the supply around the holiday weekend. Type O negative blood, the universal blood type, is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations.

The Red Cross recognizes the time and lifesaving gifts made by blood donors. This special donor appreciation promotion is just one way of saying "thank you" this summer.  In addition to the gas gift card and Red Cross Racing lip balm, donors can also accrue Red Cross Racing points by registering at Plus, starting July 4, donors who register on that website will also be entered into a national Red Cross sweepstakes with one lucky winner receiving a 2011 Ford Fiesta!

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) 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 permission 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

Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation's blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.