Red Cross To "FOCUS" On Blood Donations This Summer

June 2, 2010

"FOCUS On Saving Lives This Summer" features the chance to win a
2010 Ford Focus while helping to save lives

LOUISVILLE, Ky. June 1, 2010 – The need for blood won't take a summer vacation, so the American Red Cross is giving donors the chance to "FOCUS on Saving Lives This Summer." From June 1 to September 7, 2010 presenting donors who are at least 18 years old and who live in or present to donate in the River Valley Blood Services Region will be entered for a chance to win a 2010 Ford Focus. One lucky winner will drive home in the car and two others will each take home a $500 gas card. (Mail-in entries will be available for people who are unable to donate but would still like a chance to win the grand prize.)

While only one winner can take home the car, the real winners of the "FOCUS on Saving Lives This Summer" promotion will the many patients in need. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion. Blood is used for the treatment of cancer patients, people with blood disorders, premature babies, transplant recipients, trauma victims and many other types of patients.

The "FOCUS on Saving Lives This Summer" promotion is specifically designed to encourage blood donations during the summer. Traditionally, the American Red Cross sees a decline in the number of blood donors during the summer months due to vacations and activities, but the need for blood does not decrease. By offering this special promotion throughout the summer, the Red Cross hopes to give dedicated blood donors one more reason to be a lifesaver.

A rise in patient usage, coupled with decreased donations over the Memorial Day holiday weekend has led to an increased need for type O negative blood donations right now. Type O negative is the universal blood type, and it is often used to treat trauma patients in serious, immediate need of blood because it can be transfused without knowing the patient's blood type. Eligible type O donors are particularly encouraged to schedule donation appointments.

Media Note: A print-quality picture of the 2010 Ford Focus is available upon request.

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.