Blood donations bring hope during the holidays


The holiday season is a time for people to reflect on what makes them grateful. Family, friends and good health come to mind for many.

Countless patients like Ethan Hoffart, however, strive for good health during the holidays, oftentimes in a hospital room, away from family and friends. Blood donations can bring them hope.

When Ethan was 10 years old, he spent most of the holiday season being treated for aplastic anemia, a disease in which the body’s bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells. For four months Ethan was dependent on blood transfusions every seven days and platelet transfusions every three days.

“I probably wouldn’t even be here if no one gave blood,” he said. “The transfusions pretty much saved me.”

Thanks in part to volunteer donors, Ethan’s disease is under control, and he will be at home with his family for the holidays this year.

All blood types are needed, especially O negative, A negative and B negative. Appointments to donate with the American Red Cross and bring hope to patients in need can be made at redcrossblood.org or 1-800-RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Cook County

  • Nov. 17 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Kenilworth Union Church, 211 Kenilworth Ave. in Kenilworth, Ill.
  • Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Queen of All Saints Church & School, 6230 N. Lemont in Chicago, Ill.
  • Nov. 21 from 1-6 p.m. at Loyola University Corboy Law Center, 25 E. Pearson in Chicago, Ill.
  • Nov. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Apostolic Faith Church, 3823 S. Indiana in Chicago, Ill.
  • Nov. 25 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Chicago Hines, 303 E. Wacker in Chicago, Ill.
  • Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rush University Medical Center Armour Academic Facility, 600 S. Paulina in Chicago, Ill.
  • Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis in Chicago, Ill.
  • Nov. 27 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at CPD Police Academay, 1300 W. Jackson in Chicago, Ill. (complimentary T-shirt for presenting donors, while supplies last)
  • Nov. 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N. St. Louis in Chicago, Ill. (complimentary T-shirt for presenting donors, while supplies last)
  • Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hyde Park Seventh-day Adventist Church, 4608 S. Drexel in Chicago, Ill. (complimentary T-shirt for presenting donors, while supplies last)
  • Kankakee County

  • Nov. 16 from 12-4 p.m. at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, 700 W. North St. in Bourbonnais, Ill.
  • Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bunge Oil, 885 N. Kinzie in Bradley, Ill.
  • Nov. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Riverside Medical Center, 350 N. Wall in Kankakee, Ill.
  • Nov. 21 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
  • Nov. 22 from 1:45-7 p.m. at Bourbonnais Fire Department, 1080 Armour Road in Bourbonnais, Ill.
  • Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Northfield Square Mall, 1600 N. State Route 50 in Bourbonnais, Ill.
  • Nov. 25 from 3-7 p.m. at Riverside Medical Center, 4948 W. Route 17 in Kankakee, Ill.
  • Nov. 26 from 12-6 p.m. at St. Anne Parish Hall, 230 N. Sixth in St. Anne, Ill.
  • Lake County

  • Nov. 19 from 3-7 p.m. at Round Lake Area Public Library, 906 Hart Road in Round Lake, Ill.
  • Nov. 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Vernon Hills Incredible Technologies, 200 Corporate Woods Parkway in Vernon Hills, Ill.
  • Will County

  • Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt in Joliet, Ill.
  • Nov. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Wilmington High School, 209 Wildcat Court in Wilmington, Ill.
  • How to donate blood

    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 consent 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

    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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.