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Red Cross Urges Winter Blood Donations

This holiday season give a gift that doesn’t spread waistlines or stretch wallets. Instead, spread hope by donating blood or platelets.

The American Red Cross’ Give Something that Means Something campaign asks eligible donors to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets during the holiday season beginning Nov. 4, 2013, through Jan. 6, 2014.

“The holidays bring families and friends together in times of celebration, but for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis or other major illness, the holidays can be a difficult time,” said Ryan Corcoran, CEO of the Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region. “When you give the gift of life with the Red Cross, you’re giving hospital patients the chance to spend more holiday seasons with their loved ones.”

Corcoran added that each blood or platelet donation made can help someone heal, feel better or just have more time.

Historically, during the winter months of November, December and January, fewer donors make the time to give blood due to competing seasonal activities, celebrations and holiday shopping. The Red Cross urges donors who make a commitment to donate during the holiday period to keep their appointments.

Those who attempt to donate from Dec. 24 through Jan. 3 will get a long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt. T-shirts will be offered while supplies last.

Donors can motivate others to give by sharing their donation experience or inviting a loved one to follow in their footsteps by creating a free postcard using Postagram. During this limited offer, donors can add a picture and personal message about their donation experience to a postcard at and the Red Cross will send it to a recipient of their choice.

Donors can visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for more information or to make an appointment to give blood or platelets.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.