The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is Monday, January 17, and was established to honor the legacy of Dr. King and to encourage all Americans to volunteer and improve their local communities. The American Red Cross offers several ways you can help people in need this holiday weekend.
HELP PATIENTS — GIVE BLOOD The country is facing a national blood crisis which has forced doctors to make difficult decisions about who receives blood transfusions and who will need to wait until more products become available. Blood and platelet donations are critically needed to help prevent further delays in vital medical treatments.
The Red Cross has experienced a 10% decline in the number of people donating blood since the beginning of the pandemic, which continues to cause relentless issues, including low donor turnout, ongoing blood drive cancellations and staffing limitations.
All types are needed now, especially types O positive and O negative, as well as platelet donations, to help reverse this national blood crisis. If there is not an immediate opportunity available to donate, donors are asked to make an appointment in the days and weeks ahead to ensure the Red Cross can replenish and maintain a sufficient blood supply.
Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
BECOME A RED CROSS VOLUNTEER The Red Cross needs help responding to disasters, engaging with blood donors at blood drives, delivering blood products from our facilities to hospitals and so much more. With the country facing a national blood crisis, and climate change bringing more intense and severe weather, we ask you to consider helping others by joining our volunteer ranks today.
Just since New Year’s Day, the Red Cross has responded to more than 2,700 home fires, providing help to almost 10,000 people. Our trained Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) members respond to these home fires and other emergencies in their communities and more of these dedicated volunteers are needed now so no one faces this heartbreaking situation alone.
Also needed are blood donor ambassadors who greet blood donors, help them register, answer any of their questions and support them through the recovery process at the refreshments table.
There is a high need for volunteer transportation specialists who support hospital patients by delivering blood from our facilities to local hospitals. If you have a little free time, love driving and enjoy meeting new people, the Red Cross has a great volunteer spot waiting for you.
If you want to make a difference in your community, please visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to learn more.