Red Cross Announces Text Messaging Program

December 8, 2009
The next time you want to donate blood and need to find an American Red Cross blood drive near you, the answer may be as close as your mobile phone. The Red Cross Blood Services, South Central Division announces the implementation of a mobile media program offering people the opportunity to sign up for text alerts on blood inventory levels, receive educational information about donating blood, make their next donation appointment or locate the nearest blood drive.
Donors can subscribe to Red Cross texting simply by sending redcross to 42227 or registering at 
"Mobile technology is playing a powerful role in enhancing public health, and I applaud the Red Cross Blood Services South Central Division for deploying this innovative text messaging initiative," said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group representing the U.S. wireless industry. “This program will use mobile communications to provide donors with helpful information wherever they are and hopefully will increase their awareness and commitment to helping others through blood donations."
As more and more Americans turn to their mobile phones for work and play, the Red Cross sees this as an opportunity. They will offer real-time alerts to critical blood inventories, tips for successful blood donations or even early notification of exciting new promotions. Once you opt-in for this program, you will be able to make appointments via a click to call feature or locate a blood drive simply by entering a zip code. 
“Providing a means of entry with text is very smart,” said David Spear, EVP Sales & Marketing of LSN Mobile. “By offering the texting option to donors, the Red Cross will deliver relevant content anywhere, anytime, on demand, nurturing a one-to-one relationship.” With more than 160 million Americans sending text messages everyday, the Red Cross believes texting will become an important tool for communicating with blood donors. The South Central Division covers parts of eight states across the Midwest including Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Kansas.
“Our research has shown that texting crosses generational barriers,” said Steve Nagle, CEO, Southwest Blood Services Region. “While texting may have started with young people, we realize that even grandparents are texting today.”