Togetherness may look and feel drastically different for many families during this holiday season. However, the Hopkins family is thankful to continue to embrace the familiar tradition of blood donation with the American Red Cross.
“Everyone's holidays are different. The world is different. We can only make the most of each day,” said Diana Hopkins.
As the coronavirus pandemic wears on into the holiday season, the ongoing support of existing and new blood donors is critical. Mike and Diana Hopkins have no plans to discontinue this lifesaving act of kindness that brings great comfort and joy to patients in need.
Help Save Lives on Black Friday
Since 2014, the Hopkins have come together with their five sons the day after Thanksgiving to give back through blood donation. “It began when Diana heard a commercial for a blood drive on Joy FM radio. She thought giving blood was a clever idea and a way for us to be in the fanfare of Black Friday without just buying stuff,” said Mike. They eat pizza and watch shoppers hunt for bargains after donating.
“Giving blood has been a regular part of our lives for a long time. I'm proud that we've gotten our children into the habit,” said Mike.
Volunteer donors are the only source of blood for patients battling disease and facing the unexpected. As part of an effort to provide plasma for patients battling coronavirus, the Red Cross is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions.
Eligible individuals are urged to make an appointment to donate now using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
A Heartfelt Thank You to Blood Donors
During this challenging year the Red Cross is extremely grateful to have witnessed the best of humanity in new and existing blood donors who have stepped up to give throughout this pandemic. These individuals have not only helped support patients in their community, but also family and friends across the nation who worry about loved ones recovering from accidents, surgeries and chronic illnesses.
As a thank you for helping to meet the need for blood donations, through Dec. 15, Suburban Propane is offering blood, platelet and plasma donors a chance to win an Outdoor Living Experience, powered by Propane, to enable a lucky winner to enjoy socially distanced celebrations with family and friends this holiday season. The prize includes a propane-powered pizza oven, fire pit, outdoor heater and stipend towards propane.*
COVID-19 Blood Donation Safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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 and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
*See complete official rules and terms and conditions of the giveaway.