January is National Blood Donor Month, and the American Red Cross invites those who are eligible to join the millions of blood donors across the country in helping ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need.
People have many different reasons for donating blood. Jill Long’s is her late husband, Bill, who died from esophageal cancer. After his stage 4 diagnosis, he was able to survive for three more years, thanks in part to the blood transfusions he received.
Long said she believes “the gift of time” is what blood donors really give. “It took me only a few minutes to donate my blood, while he spent all day receiving someone else’s — just so that he could keep fighting to stay alive,” she said.
They were both grateful for that opportunity to fight, Long said. Now, as a blood donor, she said she feels like she can help other families in similar situations “battle to stay together as long as possible.”
January can be a difficult month to collect donations due to inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to make an appointment to give during National Blood Donor Month by visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
• Jan. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at American Red Cross Chicago Chapter, 2200 W. Harrison St. in Chicago, Ill.
• Jan. 5 from 3-7 p.m. at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House, 58 E. Oak St. in Chicago, Ill.
• Jan. 5 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Christ the King Catholic School, 9240 S. Hoyne in Chicago, Ill.
• Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Brafton, 168 N. Clinton in Chicago, Ill.
• Jan. 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Loyola University Center for Fitness, 2160 S. First Ave. in Maywood, Ill.
• Jan. 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Red Cross, 544 W. Northwest Highway in Arlington Heights, Ill. • Jan. 13 from 3-7:30 p.m. at DePaul University Ray Meyer Fitness Center, 2235 N. Sheffield in Chicago, Ill.
• Jan. 14 from 3-7:30 p.m. at DePaul University Ray Meyer Fitness Center, 2235 N. Sheffield in Chicago, Ill.
• Jan. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Willis Tower U.S. Equities, 233 S. Wacker Drive in Chicago, Ill.
• Jan. 2 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
• Jan. 3 from 2-6 p.m. at Church of the Nazarene, 698 N. Locust St. in Manteno, Ill.
• Jan. 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lowe’s, 860 N. Kinzie in Bradley, Ill.
• Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church, 500 N. Cleveland Ave. in Bradley, Ill.
• Jan. 6 from 3-6 p.m. at Moose Lodge, 730 N. Kinzie Ave. in Bradley, Ill.
• Jan. 9 from 12-6 p.m. at American Red Cross Kankakee, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
• Jan. 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Anne Grade School, 333 S. St. Louis Ave. in St. Anne, Ill.
• Jan. 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 29700 N. St. Mary’s Road in Libertyville, 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.