The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to end summer on a positive and potentially lifesaving note with a blood or platelet donation this Labor Day weekend.
In early July, the Red Cross issued an emergency request for blood and platelet donors to address a critical blood shortage. Thousands of people have answered the call to donate in recent weeks, but blood and platelet donors are still needed to help ensure blood products are available to meet hospital patient needs.
“The Red Cross appreciates all those who have made it a priority to give this summer. Between back-to-school planning and end-of-summer activities, Labor Day weekend can be an especially difficult time to collect blood,” said Jodi Sheedy, senior manager of communications for the Red Cross Blood Services. “The Red Cross needs to collect 14,000 blood donations every day to meet the needs of hospital patients, and those patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood. Eligible donors are encouraged to make an appointment to give blood or platelets.”
Presenting donors receive special appreciation
To encourage donations during Labor Day weekend, individuals who come to give blood or platelets from Sept. 2-6 will receive a Red Cross duffle bag, while supplies last, plus a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card claim code by email. In addition, those who come to give blood or platelets Sept. 1-30 will receive a coupon for a free Sports Clips haircut via email several days after their donation. The coupon is valid through Nov. 6, 2016, at participating Sport Clips locations, and donors must have a valid email address on record to receive the coupon.
Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to donate again. Blood can be safely donated every 56 days and platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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.