The American Red Cross and Stewart’s Shops recently announced the successful completion of the “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” program. The program offered a voucher for a free pint of Stewart’s Shops ice cream or gelato to donors from 19 Eastern New York counties who gave blood during the month of June. Thanks in large part to the “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” program, blood donations in the area exceeded the monthly expectation by 30 percent. More than 6,030 units of blood were donated, with all presenting donors receiving vouchers for a free pint of Stewart’s Shops ice cream or gelato.
This effort comes at a time when the Red Cross is issuing an emergency call for donors to give now to help address a significant blood shortage and ensure area patients receive the transfusions they need.
Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Every two seconds in the United States, blood and platelets are needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. In the New-York Penn Region, approximately 1,000 blood and platelet donations are needed every day.
“It’s usually challenging for us to collect enough blood to meet the needs of the hospitals we serve during the summer months,” said Red Cross Donor Recruitment Manager of NY-Penn Region Blood Services Sonja Ronovech. “We thank Stewart’s Shops for their support in helping us get life-saving blood products for patients in our hospitals."
“We are so pleased with the response to our partnership with the Red Cross and the amazing amount of blood that was collected,” added Stewart’s Shops President Gary Dake. “While a pint of Stewart’s ice cream was a great incentive for June, donating blood is an important need all year long and we encourage you to continue to give.”
The need for blood and platelets is constant, because blood products are perishable and have a limited shelf life. Those who need blood include accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. Red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days.Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.