Alex Cutchens, a freshman nursing student at Catawba Valley Community College, is hosting a “BloodStock” blood drive for the American Red Cross. Alex has been a Red Cross supporter for years through volunteering at blood drives.
When: 3:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24
Where: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Morganton
Donate: Call (828)433-5213 or go to redcrossblood.org to schedule an appointment
BloodStock is a summer scholarship challenge through which students can win up to $2,000 for holding a successful blood drive. Students work closely with Red Cross representatives and recruit donors and volunteers for their drive.
Blood donations to the Red Cross dropped to the lowest they have been in 15 years this summer. Despite the improvement in blood donations in recent weeks, the Red Cross needs additional donations to ensure an adequate supply through the end of the summer.
“The Red Cross has been encouraged by those who have stepped up to the plate to give blood in recent weeks, but we must make sure that blood is available for patients all summer long. So, donations are critically needed right now,” said Angela A. Broome, chief executive officer of the local American Red Cross.
The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides blood to 103 hospitals and needs to have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be safely given every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.