Help ensure a diverse blood supply for patients in need


February is Black History Month, and in the spirit of Dr. Charles Drew, a black surgeon and blood specialist who became the first medical director of an American Red Cross blood bank in 1941, the Red Cross reminds all eligible donors how important it is that donors are as diverse as the patients who need their help. Drew’s pioneering work in blood collection and transfusion laid the foundation for modern blood banks.

All patients are matched by blood type and Rh factor prior to transfusion. For some patients, additional red cell markers in donated blood also have to be matched. These markers are determined by ethnicity and are best found in a diverse donor base. For more information and to make an appointment to donate, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Cook County

  • Feb. 16 from 12-8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. James Catholic Church, 22400 S. Torrence in Sauk Village, Ill.
  • Feb. 17 from 12-8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 18 from 12-8 p.m. at McCormick Place, 2233 S. King Drive in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Federal Occupational Health Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 20 from 5-9 p.m. at Apostolic Faith Church, 3823 S. Indiana Ave. in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 23 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Roofers Local 11, 7045 Joliet Road in Indian Head Park, Ill.
  • Feb. 24 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Our Lady, Mother of the Church Hayes Center, 8701 W. Lawrence in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 24 from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at St. Daniel Parish Hall, 5337 S. Natoma in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Coffey Hall, 1000 W. Sheridan in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Prentice Women’s Hospital, 250 E. Superior in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 27 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Prentice Women’s Hospital, 250 E. Superior in Chicago, Ill.
  • Feb. 28 from 2-6 p.m. at Options Laboratory School Little Black Pearl Art & Design Center, 1060 E. 47th St. in Chicago, Ill.
  • Du Page County

  • Feb. 23 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 750 Aurora Ave. in Naperville, Ill.
  • Kankakee County

  • Feb. 21 from 12-6 p.m. at Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
  • Feb. 24 from 8-11 a.m. at Lions Hall, Parls Street in Essex, Ill.
  • Feb. 25 from 2-6 p.m. at Momence Fire Department, 15 N. Pine in Momence, Ill.
  • Feb. 28 from 12-6 p.m. at Kankakee Blood Donation Center, 20 Heritage Drive in Bourbonnais, Ill.
  • Will County

  • Feb. 20 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. 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.