June 14 is World Blood Donor Day – a day the American Red Cross joins blood collection organizations around the world to recognize the importance of a safe and stable blood supply and the donors who generously give to help save lives and enhance solidarity in communities.
Everyday heroes like Gregory Short volunteer to give lifesaving blood and platelets with the Red Cross to support trauma and cancer patients as well as people undergoing surgery.
“I just like to donate,” said Gregory. “Service is how I show love. Being a creature of routine, I like donating platelets every two or three weeks and I’m going to continue as long as I can because it’s needed.”
An avid triple platelet donor who also gives whole blood when he is eligible, Gregory has donated over 400 units of lifesaving blood products and encourages others to join him.
“For two hours, you can relax, watch TV shows while you give [platelets] and not think about work,” said Gregory. “There are those who can’t give blood due to travel or health-related reasons. It’s needed, I can and so I do.”
Eligible donors are encouraged to join Gregory in making an appointment to give blood or platelets this month. Whole blood donation is the most flexible and takes about one hour. Power Red donation involves giving a concentrated dose of red cells and takes about one hour and a half. Platelet donation entails donating tiny cells in the blood that form clots and stop bleeding and takes about two and a half to three hours.
Blood donations decline in late spring and early summer – especially during holiday weeks like Independence Day – but the need for blood and platelet transfusions doesn’t take a summer break. Generous blood and platelet donors are critically important in ensuring lifesaving care is available the moment patients need it. To schedule an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
As a thank-you for helping, in honor of the new Baz Luhrmann film, Elvis, all who come to give in the month of June will be automatically entered for a chance to win a VIP trip to Graceland for two, including round-trip airfare to Memphis, plus a three-night stay at The Guest House and Elvis Entourage VIP tour, courtesy of Graceland, a custom-wrapped Gibson Epiphone guitar and more. Additionally, those who come to donate June 1-30 will also receive a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of choice.*
*Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/elvismovie.