Dana Simmons, email@example.com
San Diegans urged to roll up a sleeve and donate with Red Cross amid emergency blood shortage
SAN DIEGO (January 22, 2024) —Kyle Kraska, Heroes Helping Heroes 4Life (H3), Jersey Mike’s Subs, and The Handlery Hotel San Diego invite San Diegans to be a hero at the 6th annual Kyle Kraska Celebration of Heroes Blood Drive with the American Red Cross. The blood drive will be held on Wednesday, February 14, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., at The Handlery Hotel San Diego, 950 Hotel Circle North, San Diego, Calif., 92108.
For the sixth consecutive year, Kyle Kraska’s Celebration of Heroes Blood Drive will honor first responders and blood donors who help save lives every day while helping ensure hospital patients have the blood products they need. Blood products collected will help accident and burn victims, patients undergoing organ transplants, treatment for cancer, sickle cell disease and others who rely on blood products.
"We are experiencing an alarming shortage of blood donations in our community. Please help me restock the shelves and ensure that no one goes without the lifesaving blood products they need,” said Kyle Kraska. “Without selfless donors, I would not be alive today. So, I hope you'll reserve time to join me on Valentine's Day and save a life. See you soon, San Diego!"
“Right now, the Red Cross is facing an emergency blood shortage. We’re grateful to Kyle Kraska and our community partners for making this blood drive possible, especially during a time that we need blood and platelet donations so greatly. We encourage the public to make an appointment to donate blood at the Celebration of Heroes Blood drive to help us alleviate the shortage and ensure that lifesaving medical procedures are not delayed,” said Dharma Nichols, Biomedical Services District Manager, Red Cross. “Over the last six years, 1,913 blood donations have been collected through Kyle Kraska’s Celebration of Heroes Blood Drives, helping thousands of hospital patients. We look forward to celebrating another year of San Diegans making a difference in the community.”
Six Years of Helping Save Lives
Kyle Kraska, San Diego resident and broadcast sports director, nearly died nine years ago after being shot six times as he was leaving for work. He was rushed to La Jolla’s Scripps Memorial Hospital where he was treated for numerous traumatic injuries including a perforated liver and a collapsed lung. Kraska coded twice on the operating table and required multiple transfusions of blood products. Days later, he woke up from a coma and with the help of doctors, nurses and blood donors was able to return home and to his life. To thank the doctors, nurses, first responders and anonymous blood donors who saved his life, Kraska established KK's Heroes and the Celebration of Heroes Blood Drives.
Eligible donors in the community can be a hero to help hospital patients by rolling up a sleeve to donate blood.
As a thank-you, those who come to give blood will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, a coupon for a free sub sandwich, courtesy of Jersey Mike’s Subs, and a $20 gift card by email, thanks to Amazon. Visit rcblood.org/heart for more details.
How to help
Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the days and weeks to come by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device and use sponsor code KKsHeroes.
Save time during donation
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.
To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.
About Heroes Helping Heroes 4 Life (H3)
Mark George, a former USS Midway sailor and San Diego City Firefighter and Deputy Fire Marshal founded Heroes Helping Heroes 4 Life, a 501(c)3 that helps veterans and first responders. H3 regularly hosts blood drives to honor community heroes and collect critically needed blood donations for hospital patients.
About the American Red Cross Southern California Region
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 public to perform its mission. The Red Cross Southern California Region proudly serves San Diego, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Imperial Counties. In addition to carrying out disaster preparedness and response programs, blood collection, health and safety training, international services programs and supporting the military community, the Southern California Region provides nutritional counseling through its Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in San Diego and helps communities prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters through its Prepare SoCal and Prepare San Diego initiatives. For more information, please visit redcross.org/SoCal or cruzrojaamericana.org, or connect with us on Facebook, X, Instagram and YouTube.
Editor’s note: Free parking available with validation.