Local American Red Cross Driver Delivers The Perfect Gift this Holiday Season

December 5, 2011

While hundreds of millions of packages containing the latest gadgets and gizmos will be shipped by retailers to consumers this holiday season, local American Red Cross blood delivery driver Roger Larson will be dropping off what patients consider the perfect gift – lifesaving blood products.

Two to three days a week, all year long, Larson helps ensure local hospitals’ shelves are stocked with blood and platelets for patients in need. The holiday season is especially meaningful for Larson because he knows patients can’t take a holiday from needing lifesaving blood.

“Working at the Red Cross is a year round gift! Every day I get to deliver the gift of life to patients in need,” says Larson. “I’m no longer able to donate so working at the Red Cross is my way of giving back.”

After a 35-year-career at Deluxe Corporation, Larson became a driver for the American Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region and has been delivering blood for the past nine years. He typically makes weekly deliveries to hospitals in the Twin Cities metro area on week days and to Wisconsin on weekends. “I enjoy the customers I serve and knowing that I make a difference in so many lives.  I do whatever it takes to make sure that the blood gets delivered where it needs to be!” says Larson. 

Larson is considered one of the “most upbeat and optimistic people I’ve ever met,” according to Matt Fahning, hospital services manager at the Red Cross. “He always has a smile on his face and is very customer service oriented. He is a valuable and dedicated employee that exemplifies the spirit of the Red Cross,” said Fahning.

The Red Cross often experiences a drop in blood and platelet donations during the holiday season when many donors are busy with shopping and family get-togethers. Severe winter weather and seasonal illnesses can further challenge the Red Cross to collect enough donations to meet the needs of patients. Give the perfect gift this holiday season – the gift of life.

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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. 

This December, the gift of a blood or platelet donation can make an even greater difference. In honor of all December blood and platelet donors, a financial contribution will be made to the American Red Cross annual holiday giving program. Gifts to the annual holiday giving program provide comfort items such as blankets or emergency shelter for disaster victims, comfort items for wounded soldiers, and preventative childhood vaccinations. To learn more about the holiday giving program, visit redcross.org/gifts.

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.