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Emergency Call for Blood and Platelet Donations

The American Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and is issuing an emergency call for blood and platelet donors to make a donation appointment now and help save patient lives. 

Hectic holiday schedules for many regular blood donors contributed to about 37,000 fewer donations in November and December than what was needed. Snowstorms and severe weather have also impacted donations. Nearly 100 blood drives were forced to cancel in December, resulting in more than 3,100 blood donations going uncollected. 

“Blood and platelet donations are critically needed in the coming days so that patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they are counting on,” said Nick Gehrig, communications director, Red Cross Blood Services. “We encourage donors to invite a family member or friend to donate with them to help meet patient needs. Right now, blood and platelet donations are being distributed to hospitals faster than they are coming in.” 

The Great Chicago Blood Drive is Monday, Jan. 9, 2017, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency- Grand Ballroom, 151 E Upper Wacker Dr., and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Drake Oak Brook Hotel, 2301 York Road, Oak Brook. While helping to save lives, participants may enjoy entertainment from Medieval Times and receive a free t-shirt, while supplies last.

Along with presenting partner, ABC 7, the Great Chicago Blood Drive is supported by media partners, Univision Chicago, Clear Channel Outdoor and iHeart Media Chicago; Power Red Sponsor, USG; Social Media Sponsor, Wintrust; In-kind Sponsor, Medieval Times; and location hosts, Hyatt Regency Chicago and The Drake Oak Brook Hotel.

How to help 

Find a blood donation opportunity and schedule an appointment to donate by using the free Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). The Red Cross is extending hours at many donation sites for more donors to give blood or platelets. Overall, the Red Cross has added nearly 200 hours to blood donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks. Donation appointments and completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire are encouraged to help speed up the donation process. 

“In about an hour, you can help save someone’s life. This simple act can have a profound impact on another human being,” said Gehrig. 

Who blood donations help 

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all require blood to save their lives. The treatments high school freshman Payton Kannarr receives to fight leukemia cause her blood counts to drop. She currently receives platelet transfusions weekly and red blood cells about every two weeks. 

“We have seen firsthand the incredible need for blood products as we have been on this four-year roller coaster journey,” said Amy Kannarr, Payton’s mom. “Through the care and compassion of donors, Payton has been able to enjoy life as a teenager.” 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities 

Cook County 


• 1/4/2017: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., 111 W. Jackson, 111 W. Jackson Blvd 

• 1/6/2017: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., 180 North LaSalle, 180 North LaSalle 

• 1/8/2017: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Christ the King Catholic School, 9240 S. Hoyne 

• 1/9/2017: 7 a.m. - 6 p.m., Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 E Upper Wacker Dr 

• 1/16/2017: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Ann & Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, 225 E. Chicago Ave. 

• 1/17/2017: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., Ann & Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, 225 E. Chicago Ave. 


• 1/19/2017: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Sheil Catholic Center, Northwestern University, 2110 Sheridan Rd 

• 1/20/2017: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Northwestern University - Phi Kappa Psi, 2247 Sheridan 


• 1/5/2017: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Loyola University Center for Fitness, 2160 S. First Ave, Loyola Center for Fitness 

River Forest 

• 1/22/2017: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., River Forest West Suburban Temple Har Zion, 1040 North Harlem 


DuPage County 


• 1/14/2017: 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 751 Army Trail Rd. 


• 1/16/2017: 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., Benedictine University- Kindlon hall, 5700 College Road 

Oak Brook 

• 1/9/2017: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., The Oak Brook Drake Hotel, 2301 York Road 


Kankakee County 


• 1/5/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive 

• 1/12/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive 

• 1/19/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive 


• 1/4/2017: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Kankakee Faith Reformed Church, 2400 Waldron Rd 


• 1/4/2017: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Momence Fire Department, 15 N Pine _______________ 

Will County 


• 1/13/2017: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Louis Joliet Mall, 3340 Mall Loop Drive 

About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois: 

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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 us at or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.