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Live a story. Give a story. Donate blood or platelets.

Leroy Straight averages 20-24 visits per year to the Donor Center to give platelets.
This summer is a good time for everyone – patients and blood donors alike – to share their stories.

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of summer - a difficult time of year for the American Red Cross to collect enough blood and platelet donations to help those in need.

During June, July and August, about two fewer people on average donate at Red Cross blood drives. If just two more donors give blood at every Red Cross blood collection this summer it will help ensure blood is available for everyone who needs it. A single donation can help save more than one life, giving patients time to create their own summer stories and memories.

SUMMER OF STORIES “All patients have stories about how the generosity of blood donors touched their lives and the lives of their families,” said Stephanie Millian, director of Biomedical Services communications. “This summer is a good time for everyone – patients and blood donors alike – to share their stories.”

The Red Cross is introducing its “Summer of Stories” program to help encourage blood donations and recognize everyone who supports Red Cross blood drives. There are several promotional campaigns throughout the summer. The first begins May 23 and runs through May 31. All presenting donors will be eligible for the chance to win one of five $1,000 American Express gift cards to create their own summer stories. Visit for details.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Platelet and blood donors can join the conversation by sharing their stories on Twitter using the #summerofstories hashtag; sharing a story in a picture on Instagram and tagging it with #summerofstories; or encouraging Facebook friends to donate blood and give someone a lifetime of stories. Donors can also visit to share their stories on the Red Cross website.

HOW TO GIVE For more information about donating blood, or to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, please visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Individuals who are at least 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in 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.

Tags: Blood.
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. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.